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Kenyan Black & White Batik Cow Bone & African Trade Bead Necklace

Kenyan Cow Bone & African Trade Bead Necklace
Kenyan Cow Bone & African Trade Bead Necklace
Item# JWL83
$10.00

Product Description

Kenyan Cow Bone & African Trade Bead Necklace

Size:
Width: 1 inch
Length: 16 ˝ inches





Hand Crafted in Kenya

This stunning choker was handmade in Kenya using black and white bone beads flanked on either side by African trade beads. The design on the black and white bone beads is created through a dying method known as "batik", which is a wax relief process, this method is used to dye mud cloth. The choker closes with a button closure Wealth in Africa is measured in the amount of livestock you own, so everything is used when an animal is killed. The beads of this necklace are made from cow bone that has been bleached and dyed brown, strung together with some black African glass beads.

Owning a piece of African jewelry is more than owning a piece of jewelry its possessing a world of culture and history in its own beautiful form. Even though there is history and meaning behind each piece, it’s the art in the jewelry that grabs the attention of most collectors.

African jewelry is an ancient and time honored art form that reflects the art of African heritage, culture and history. There are several artistic, religious, spiritual and cultural elements of African heritage visible in each uniquely crafted piece of jewelry.

Around the turn of the 10th century, when bronze work was common, crafting these pieces became more intricate. Bronze pieces were normally decorated with ivory or precious stones and several of these pieces were identified with royalty. Beads have also played a very important role in African culture and can be seen today in many of the beautiful pieces of jewelry created by the skilled craftsmen who make them.

Modern African pieces still remain true to the same historic values and meanings of the past. These values represent different elements of African culture and reveal the importance of each piece of jewelry, which in turn makes them so special to collectors and art lovers everywhere.

The history and meaning of each piece of jewelry is unique. It is said that owning one of these pieces provides hope, wisdom and well-being to its owner. So start your own ‘art’ collection today.

About African Trade Beads

African trade beads came about as a result of the need for traders along the route between Europe and Africa for a currency to trade with the Africans. Beads fitted here as the most appropriate medium of exchange due to the affinity that African people had for various types of beads. The trade beads were therefore used for purposes of battering goods of value from the peoples of Africa such as ivory, gold, and palm oil.

The history of African trade beads dates as far back as the fifteenth century with the coming of the Portuguese. Upon arrival in West Africa, the Portuguese discovered just how important beads were to the African people. The beads they found were crafted out of various objects and materials including gold, iron, ivory, organic objects and bone. At the same time, the Portuguese discovered that the resources that the European market was desperate for were in abundance in Africa. The traders therefore decided to use glass beads as a medium in bartering for goods and raw materials with the Africans.

Glass beads were particularly singled out because glass working technology had not yet been discovered in Africa. Therefore, the African people were in awe of the exquisite beads of glass that the European traders had to offer. Because these beads were also used in bartering slaves, they were to later earn the name “slave beads” or aggry beads. Europe responded to the popularity and increased demand for African trade beads by increasing production in cities such as Venice which is today still famous for its unique and rare glass beads.

About Kenyan Culture

Currently there are more than 40 different ethnic group in Kenya.

The main groups of tribes are the Bantu who migrated from western Africa, the Nilotic people who originated from Sudan and the Hamitic group, who were mainly pastoral tribes from Ethiopia and Somalia. The main tribes are Kikuyu (21%), Meru (5%), Kalenjin, Luyha, Luo (14%), Kisii, Kamba, Swahili, Masai, Turkana

The other large ethnic groups include the Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Kalenjin- There are also some groups of people who form a very small population. This includes the tribe of El Molo.

Kenya culture is a fascinating way of life that blends the traditions of thousands of years of African social evolution with the modern influences of the 20th century. The multifaceted culture of Kenya is expressed in different forms, ranging from its people and language, food, music and dance, art, artifacts, theatre and literature to its ethnic values and ethical norms. Combined with other traditions, these forms of expression and lifestyle form an identity that is uniquely Kenyan.

Another fascinating aspect of Kenyan culture is the art and artifacts that Kenya's different ethnic groups craft manually, using readily available local materials. Beautifully carved wood sculptures showing exquisite detail and craftsmanship are produced in large quantities and sold to tourists both locally and abroad.

Other popular Kenya artifacts include colorful hand-woven sisal baskets, Maasai beaded jewelry, gold and silver jewelry, musical instruments, soapstone sculptures, tribal masks, figurines, paintings, prints, batik cloth, kangas and the beautiful traditional Kikoys (African sarongs).

Find Other Unique African Products


Accessories

Hand Beaded Ndebele Salt or Pepper Mill
Width: 1˝ inches
Length: 4 inches
Height: 1˝ inches




Hand Crafted in South Africa

This unique pepper grinder is hand beaded by the Ndebele ladies, the container is acrylic it has sterling silver grinding mechanism, the set comes packaged in a box. While the designs and colors of the beadwork may vary the quality will never be compromised.



Black Pepper.

Black pepper is the world’s most popular spice, cultivated throughout the tropics – although the vine is native to the Malabar coast of India. The small, well-rounded berries grow in the lush, lovely Cardamom hills of Southwest India, so that Cochin (now called Kochi) became, at the time, one of the world’s greatest ports. The other black peppercorn which is highly regarded are the larger, more pungent, and more expensive “Tellicherry” (a type of malavar) which is dark brown, white, too, comes from India. Lanpong from Indonesia is pungent, slightly more subtle is Sarawak, from Malaysia.

Black peppercorns are produced from berries left on the vine until they turn red, picked, fermented briefly, then sun-dried, accounting for its slightly withered and demented look. Peppercorns are scalded in water, then allowed to dry, and become hard, wrinkled, and black. The fermentation is what delivers the flavor that makes peppercorns the world’s most imported spice. The outer shells turn brown-black, while the interior remains pale. Its intensity also fades in cooking - but not nearly as much as green peppercorns - and by salting and peppering each ingredient in a dish, you can retain its dark lustiness. High quality pepper is named for the area in which it is grown, or the port from which it is traded. Black peppercorns have a penetrating odor, and biting flavor. When cooked, black peppercorns grow tender and mild – pleasantly chewy, and almost soft as rice – with no burning heat.

There are flavor differences even among black peppercorns. Black pepper comes from all over the world. India and Indonesia are considered the best. Brazil makes some, but it’s not as high quality.

About the Ndebele.

Ndebele women traditionally adorned themselves with a variety of ornaments, each symbolizing her status in society. After marriage, dresses became increasingly elaborate and spectacular. In earlier times, the Ndebele wife would wear copper and brass rings around her arms, legs and neck, symbolizing her bond and faithfulness to her husband, once her home was built..

She would only remove the rings after his death. The rings (called idzila) were believed to have strong ritual powers. Husbands used to provide their wives with rings; the richer the husband, the more rings the wife would wear. Today, it is no longer common practice to wear these rings permanently.

In addition to the rings, married women also wore neck hoops made of grass (called isigolwani) twisted into a coil and covered in beads, particularly for ceremonial occasions. Isigolwani are sometimes worn as neckpieces and as leg and arm bands by newly wed women whose husbands have not yet provided them with a home, or by girls of marriageable age after the completion of their initiation ceremony.

Married women also wore a five-fingered apron (called an ijogolo) to mark the culmination of the marriage, which only takes place after the birth of the first child. The marriage blanket (nguba) worn by married women was decorated with beadwork to record significant events throughout the woman’s lifetime.

For example, long beaded strips signified that the woman’s son was undergoing the initiation ceremony and indicated that the woman had now attained a higher status in Ndebele society. It symbolized joy because her son had achieved manhood as well as the sorrow at losing him to the adult world.

A married woman always wore some form of head covering as a sign of respect for her husband. These ranged from a simple beaded headband or a knitted cap to elaborate beaded headdresses (amacubi).

Boys usually ran around naked or wore a small front apron of goatskin. However, girls wore beaded aprons or beaded wraparound skirts from an early age. For rituals and ceremonies, Ndebele men adorned themselves with ornaments made for them by their wives.



Ndebele arts and crafts.

Ndebele art has always been an important identifying characteristic of the Ndebele. Apart from its aesthetic appeal it has a cultural significance that serves to reinforce the distinctive Ndebele identity.

The Ndebele’s essential artistic skill has always been understood to be the ability to combine exterior sources of stimulation with traditional design concepts borrowed from their ancestors.

Ndebele artists also demonstrated a fascination with the linear quality of elements in their environment and this is depicted in their artwork. Painting was done freehand, without prior layouts, although the designs were planned beforehand.

The characteristic symmetry, proportion and straight edges of Ndebele decorations were done by hand without the help of rulers and squares. Ndebele women were responsible for painting the colorful and intricate patterns on the walls of their houses.

This presented the traditionally subordinate wife with an opportunity to express her individuality and sense of self-worth. Her innovativeness in the choice of colors and designs set her apart from her peer group. In some instances, the women also created sculptures to express themselves.

The back and side walls of the house were often painted in earth colors and decorated with simple geometric shapes that were shaped with the fingers and outlined in black. The most innovative and complex designs were painted, in the brightest colors, on the front walls of the house. The front wall that enclosed the courtyard in front of the house formed the gateway (izimpunjwana) and was given special care.

Windows provided a focal point for mural designs and their designs were not always symmetrical. Sometimes, makebelieve windows are painted on the walls to create a focal point and also as a mechanism to relieve the geometric rigidity of the wall design. Simple borders painted in a dark color, lined with white, accentuated less important windows in the inner courtyard and in outside walls.

Contemporary Ndebele artists make use of a wider variety of colors (blues, reds, greens and yellows) than traditional artists were able to, mainly because of their commercial availability. Traditionally, muted earth colors, made from ground ochre, and different natural-colored clays, in white, browns, pinks and yellows, were used. Black was derived from charcoal. Today, bright colors are the order of the day.

As Ndebele society became more westernized, the artists started reflecting this change of their society in their paintings. Another change is the addition of stylized representational forms to the typical traditional abstract geometric designs. Many Ndebele artists have now also extended their artwork to the interior of houses. Ndebele artists also produce other crafts such as sleeping mats and isingolwani.

Isingolwani (colorful neck hoops) are made by winding grass into a hoop, binding it tightly with cotton and decorating it with beads. In order to preserve the grass and to enable the hoop to retain its shape and hardness, the hoop is boiled in sugar water and left in the hot sun for a few days. A further outstanding characteristic of the Ndebele is their beadwork.

Beadwork is intricate and time consuming and requires a deft hand and good eyesight. This pastime has long been a social practice in which the women engaged after their chores were finished but today, many projects involve the production of these items for sale to the public.

$28.99
Hand Beaded Ndebele Salt or Pepper Mill BPG1