isicoco, noun

esikoko, isigcocoShow more Also esikoko, isigcoco, isigcoko, isigoko, issigoko.
1836 A.F. Gardiner Journey to Zoolu Country 100Both men and women shave their heads close, the former leaving only sufficient to attach the issigoko, or ring.
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 121All their heads were shaven, sufficient hair only being left to attach the issigoko, which is composed of sinews sewn to the hair, and blackened with grease.
1855 J.W. Colenso Ten Weeks in Natal 10He has cut off his isigcoco, (ring of hair upon his head, worn by married heathens), and dressed himself like a Christian.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 58A ring, composed of grease, wax and wood, is worn on the head of the kaffir men. I believe it to be a sign of a man having arrived at the dignity of marriage; it is called esikoko, the two k’s signifying two clicks of the tongue.
1940 F.B. Young City of Gold 114The magnificent figure of an induna stepped out and towered over him...Encircling his head he wore the isigoko, a ring of fibre covered with twisted sinews attached to the roots of unshaven hair and blackened with beeswax.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 106The king had his black-shielded regiments of single men, and his white-shielded regiments of married men who had his permission to take wives and wear the isicoco, or head-ring.
1974 C.T. Binns Warrior People 183Note on the Isicoco...It was built up from..a latex, collected from certain bushes indigenous to Zululand, which the craftsman worked in the palm of his hand until it took on the texture of putty...It was..kneaded and shaped into a long sausage which was carefully wound round an oval framework...It was then sewn firmly to his hair with threads of sinew which, when completely cold, formed a solid, hard, black, latex ring. Finally this was rubbed with grease and polished with a small stone until it took on the appearance of polished jet.
1981 M. Kunene Anthem of Decades p.xxThe headring (isicoco) symbolic of the ultimate wisdom.

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