|Title||Krobo Beads "Recycled" Africa Red Blue Purple|
|Type of Object||Recycled "powder" glass|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Overall Condition||Good. Some of our beads have traveled at least three continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.|
|Damage/Repair||Minor chips, pitting, and general wear|
|Bead Size||10 mm diameter. See picture with penny for size comparison.|
|Strand Length||26 inches (includes string/raffia)|
Additional information: 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.
In Ghana, Krobo artisans grind recycled glass (from old bottles, jars) to a fine powder. The powder is formed in a kaolin-covered clay mold which uses a cassava leaf stem to make the center hole. The beads are then fired in an oven and as the glass hardens, the cassava leaf burns up. After they’re cooled, the beads are often decorated with dyes or paints before being washed, then strung thru the void left by the burned cassava.