Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Mudcloth Batik Bone Beads Long Cylinders Africa

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Title Mudcloth Batik Bone Beads Long Cylinders Africa
Type of Object bovine cow bone
Made In Kenya
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Late 20th-early 21st century
Overall Condition Good.
Bead Size 6-7 mm wide. 2mm hole.See picture with penny for size comparison.
Strand Length 26 inches (including string/raffia).

Picture is an example. Yours will be similar. 

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.

Mudcloth beads are made of bone and are created in Africa using a “batik” technique. Wax is painted onto the bead to create a design, then the remaining surface is darkened with a vegetable dye. Once the dye is set, the wax is removed. The resulting graphic is reminiscent of the African “bogolanfini” fabric known as mudcloth.