Multicoloured Beads from West Africa
This impressive collection of 40 handmade sandcast beads have been made by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Togo, and Benin, as well as the Krobo people from the eastern region of Ghana – using the same traditional tools and adopting similar methods as their ancestors have done for centuries. Quite remarkable.
Weighing in at approximately 100 grams, the beads in our selection measure roughly 15-20 x10mm with a 2mm hole.
As you can see from the photo – the beads come in a blaze of different colours – each one being uniquely different from the next.
They’re incredibly beautiful and would provide lots of potential for creativity for those artisans with a bent for creating an amazing tribal or boho-inspired ethnic style or statement jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, and leg bangles.
And cheap as chips at 0.55 cents a pop!
So how are these wonderful beads made?
First, old bottles, broken glass, jars and clay are sorted into colour groups then pulverised separately into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
The powder of choice is poured into specially designed molds, in order to produce layers and distinctive patterned designs.
The stem of a Cassava plant is then placed through the centre of the powder to form the hole in the bead.
The molds containing the powdered layers are then heated at an extremely high temperature in crude wood-burning kilns – which initiates the powder to liquify into a molten solution that will cook the bead to perfection - while the Cassava stem burns out.
The photo illustrates what you can expect, however, there may be some minor variations depending on availability.