Africa Direct
Africa Direct

White Bone Trade Beads Diamond Shape Kenya African

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Title White Bone Trade Beads Diamond Shape Kenya African
Type of Object bovine cow bone
Made In Kenya
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Contemporary
Overall Condition Very 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 Pitting, minor chips, and general wear
Bead Size 11-15 mm diameter. See picture with penny for size comparison.
Strand Length 28 inches (including string/raffia).
Brand Unbranded

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.