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Clamshell Heishi Beads Thin White Disks African

Regular Price: $29.00

Special Price: $21.00

Product #: 129290
US Shipping: $4.98
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Title Clamshell Heishi Beads Thin White Disks African
Type of Object Cut, polished clamshell beads.
Made In Africa
Traded In Africa
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.
Bead Size 7-10 mm diameter. See picture with penny for size comparison. U.S. penny is 19mm in diameter.
Strand Length 27 inches (includes 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.


The name “heishi” comes to us from the Santo Domingo and San Felipe Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, and can be translated as “shell bead.” The earliest recorded beads were made using the heishi technique. Heishi are produced by perforating shell fragments, threading them on wire, and then grinding them into disk shapes against a stone. Whereas “heishi” originally referred only to shell beads made with this technique, the term is now applied to disk-shaped beads made from almost any natural material.


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