"Aja" beads were made in Venice (and altered in Africa?) in the early 1900s. These were made from drawn tubes of glass which were then cooled and cut into small slices. Once cut, the slices of drawn cane were then exposed to heat until the glass softened (slumped), the beads flattened somewhat, and their hard cut edges also softened and rounded. There seems to be no Venetian sample cards showing these slumped slices as ever being sold from Venice although the cane they were made of certainly was. Based on this, some experts speculate the slumping process was done in Africa while others think this process was done in Venice when the beads were made. (Few of the original Venetian Bead Makers sample cards still exist today) These beads have a range of sizes, colors and canes. Some of the most spectacular "Aja" beads were made from rosetta (chevron) cane. The 4-layer "yellow jacket" slices are beautiful! I have also seen some unbelievable pink and white striped ones. "Aja" is an African word which means something like dog or fish. These beads are sometimes called "Eja". Beautiful and somewhat unusual, a person could build a whole collection just of these wonderful beads.