Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Mudcloth Batik Bone Beads Square Disk Africa 30 Inch

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Title Mudcloth Batik Bone Beads Disk Africa 30 Inch
Type of Object bovine cow bone
Made In Kenya
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 Surface scratches, some slight decoration loss, and general wear
Bead Size 4-11 mm wide. See picture with penny for size comparison.
Strand Length 30 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.