Neck Rings: An Ndebele-Inspired Fashion Accessory


The average woman wants to be physically attractive and to achieve this; she accessories one or more parts of her body with various kinds of jewelleries. It could be nose rings, belly rings, multiple finger rings or different types of neck jewellery.

The Ndebele women of the Nguni ethnic group in South Africa believe a woman’s beauty is made more pronounced by an elongated neck. To achieve this, they wear neck rings called dzilla. These rings however do not stretch the necks. They only push down on their collar bones, giving an illusion that the neck has been stretched.

These rings are usually made of brass or copper and are not just worn as part of the traditional dressing; they also signify wealth and a woman’s status in the society. They are excluded to married women as the rings are given to them by their husbands. It is said to signify her bond and faithfulness to her husband. For this reason, the rings can only be removed after his death. But the richer her husband, the higher the number of rings she wears.

However, wearing the rings permanently is no longer a common practice among them and is now being used as a fashion accessory. So, if you want to make a bold fashion statement, don’t be afraid to go for several layers of neck rings.



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