|Title||Coconut Shell Beads Africa 24 Inch|
|Type of Object||Coconut shell|
|Approximate Age||Mid to late 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.|
|Bead Size||6-9 mm diameter. See picture with penny for size comparison (US penny is 19mm diameter).|
|Strand Length||24 inches (includes string/raffia).|
|Type||Strand of beads|
Picture is an example. Yours will be similar.
This strand is not intended to be a ready-to-wear necklace. Although the strand can be worn "as is," the raffia holding it together is not durable and may break with use. For this reason, we recommend that you restring the beads before wearing them.
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.