Used as fertility figures, the female/ hourglass shaped gourd is a symbol of female fertility. Worn around the neck or over the shoulder by women hoping to conceive.
The gourd is covered with the turquoise and pink beads favoured by the Xhosa and Mfengu. Mother of pearl buttons, also popular with the Mfengu are spaced along the beaded cords.
for a similar example see: The Art of Daily Life - Portable Objects from Southern Africa, Petridis, Constantine,Cleveland Museum, 2011, pp. 92 no:73