Green Mali Vinyl and Kano Bead Necklace
This one of a kind necklace is made from various old beads and materials: green Mali vinyl discs, old lemon colored and green Vaseline glass, turquoise nugget and Tuareg brass beads. Featured in the center is an antique green Kano glass bead from Palestine. Inbetween the beads are thin leather spacers for a more uniform fit. The clasp is made of brass.
Kano beads (also referred to as Hebron beads) are old trade glass beads which originate from the Holy city of Hebron in Palestine, near Jerusalem. Hebron has a long and fascinating history of glass-making which dates back to 63 BCE. Hebron beads are made with salts from the Dead Sea and sand, which gives them their eroded aesthetic and surface. Each bead is handmade and therefore varies in surface and size.
As trade networks developed between Africa, Palestine and Egypt in the early 1800s, Hebron’s glass-makers began producing beads exclusively for trade in foreign lands. They were particularly well received by the Igbo and Yoruba tribes of Kano, Nigeria, both of whom consider large, heavy beads to be indicative of wealth and social status. The Yoruba, however, noticed that the rough glass beads did not sit uniformly when strung upon a raffia, and so ground down the sides of the beads themselves using flattened stones. Early historians were originally of the impression the beads were produced by the Yoruba – hence the name Kano beads.