Gorgeous and rich colored bauxite beads from Ghana. These are handmade and shaped through a laborious process. Strand is approximately 26 inches. Beads are 6-9mm in diamter. Photo is an example, yours will be similar.
For more information, please see our comprehensive guide to African-made beads, African Beads: Jewels of a Continent, hardcover, 216 pages, 163 color photographs, available from Africa Direct.
Bauxite is a kind of aluminium ore and is a beautiful dark rusty chestnut color. These wonderful old beads were cut, carved, polished and drilled by hand in Africa. Most of the production of bauxite beads today is in Ghana, African, in a small village called Akyem Abompe. It is a unique center of bead production where practically each family is maintaining themselves through manufacture of beads. The patina of bauxite beads is warm and earthy and the most beautiful are said to be the ones which have been worn for a while and have absorbed natural human oil and sweat. These look lovely mixed with ostrich egg heishi.