The Ndebele are among the smallest tribes in South Africa, but one of the most colorful and distinctive tribes on the entire continent. The women are the practitioners of Ndebele art which represents a rich cultural heritage. They paint their homes in bright geometric patterns and adorn themselves with intricate beadwork.Beadwork is an index to the life cycles. The different types of beadwork reflect the woman's changing status from young children, through puberty, and into adulthood. Different beaded articles are worn at different stages of life.