About Batik/Bone Beads

Batik/ Bone beads are popular in most African countries and are handcrafted from bone and thereafter dyed through the batik method to give them color. The strand and number of beads on your batik/ bone beads jewelry item will vary depending on how you intend to wear it. Necklaces may feature longer raffia strands, while bracelets normally require fewer beads. Beautiful contemporary designs feature batik/ bone beads as focal points for necklaces with antique finishes and superb detailing. Some bead designs today may even feature up to three faces with carvings on both sides. Because each batik/ bone bead is carved by hand, you are assured of wearing a unique, one-of-a-kind piece that no one else has.

Click here to Shop Batik-Bone Beads


User Gallery – Kimberly’s Blessings

Photos courtesy of Kimberly Standiford – Kimberly’s Blessings

Strands contain Ghana Beads, White Hearts, Batik Bone Beads, Kakamba Beads, Krobo Beads, Padre Beads, Russian Blue Beads, and Many More.

Want to show off beads that you purchased from us?  No problem.  E-mail us pictures at store@rexbeads.com


User Gallery – House of Renee

Photos courtesy of Latonia Gray – House of Renee – http://HouseofRenee.Etsy.com

Strands contain Batik Bone Beads, Russian Blue Beads, and Tomato Beads

 

Want to show off beads that you purchased from us?  No problem.  E-mail us pictures at store@rexbeads.com


User Gallery – Bears Beads and Chains

 

Photos courtesy of Claudia Hogue and Shari Burton - Bears Beads and Chains

Strands contain Brass Bicone Beads, Watermelon Beads, White Hearts, Krobo Beads, Kakamba Beads, Ghana Beads, Feather Beads, Eye Beads, Batik Bone Beads, Padre Beads, Ostrich Eggshell Beads, Snake Beads, Heishi Beads, and just about everything else!

 

Want to show off beads that you purchased from us?  No problem.  E-mail us pictures at store@rexbeads.com


User Gallery – Stones by Dolores

Updated 2/3/2012 with more pictures!

Photos courtesy of Dolores Stone – Stones by Dolores

Strands contain Coral Beads, Batik Bone Beads, Sand Cast Beads, Ghana Beads, Krobo Beads, Heishi Beads, and More!

Want to show off beads that you purchased from us?  No problem.  E-mail us pictures at store@rexbeads.com


User Gallery – African Jewelry Design

Photos courtesy of Marsha Eaton – African Jewelry Design

Strands contain Coral Beads, Batik Bone Beads, Sand Cast Beads, Ghana Beads, Krobo Beads, Ethiopian Beads, and More!

Want to show off beads that you purchased from us?  No problem.  E-mail us pictures at store@rexbeads.com


African Trade Beads – History & Uses

African trade beads originated from Europe and were in the past used for trading purposes in Africa in the period between the 17th century and the early 20th century. Before the abolition of slavery, these beads were historically used by chiefs as currency in exchange for slaves, as well as gold and ivory. African trade beads were also popular amongst the African men and women of social standing as they were also a symbol of wealth.

One of the most common materials used to make African trade beads in the past was Venetian glass. Other materials included wood, metal and coral. Today, African trade beads are becoming common accessories on the bodies of discerning females. Both girls and women, whether African or not, are embracing African trade beads and adorning their bodies with exquisite jewelry items such as bracelets and necklaces. Hobbyists also indulge themselves in beading projects using these beads, while African history enthusiasts are fast becoming avid collectors as well.

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Origin of 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.


Caring for your African Beads

To clean most African beads use a small amount of Mineral Oil (found at your local grocers) on a clean cloth and rub. Not recommended for old or Antique beads as their dirt is well earned and adds to their history.

Cleaning agents such as soap are not advised.