riverpebble stonewear ~ handmade jewelry
SAMBA African Trade Bead and Clay earrings with Black Obsidian

SAMBA African Trade Bead and Clay earrings with Black Obsidian

TRADE BEAD earrings that make a statement measure 2 1/2" in total length. Includes Bauxite and Indonesian clay beads.

Rediscovering Trade Beads of African and Native American trade has been inspiring and educational. Beads have been the passion of humans from earliest history.
King bicone trade beads are enhanced by the old African Bauxite handmade beads in the earrings with copper finishes.
Each bead used in trade has an unknown past of great interest and collectible value.


BAUXITE TRADE BEADS- Bauxite is a kind of aluminium ore and is a beautiful dark rusty chestnut color. These wonderful old beads are cut, carved, polished and drilled by hand in Africa. Most of the production of bauxite beads today is in Ghana, African, in a small village called Akyem Abompe. It is a unique center of bead production where practically each family is maintaining themselves through manufacture of beads. The patina of bauxite beads is warm and earthy and the most beautiful are said to be the ones which have been worn for a while and have absorbed natural human oil and sweat.
BICONE KING BEADS- "King Beads" are wonderful old Venetian wound and marvered bicone beads. Sometime in the past, probably in the heyday of the import of African Trade beads in the early 1970s, these were given the name of "King" beads. The legend has it that these were worn by African "Kings" (Chiefs)"King" beads come in a large variety of colors, trailing designs and sizes but always in a bicone shape. The earliest versions of these beads can be dated back to the mid 1800s and represented on Moses Lewin Levin bead sample cards which were donated to the British Museum in 1865.
These old Venetian "King" beads were made up to the 1920s and later versions are represented on Sick and Co. bead sample cards from this period. Still revered in Africa today, these old beads are on prominent display in Dipo Intiation ceremonies in Ghana, where the yellow forms , in particular, represent maturity and prosperity. This would explain the popularity of the yellow striped "King" beads. "King" beads are highly collectable and there are some spectacular private collections of these beads in America, Africa, Japan and Europe.
30 USD