Conical Shape Kiffa Bead with Protective "Eyes"
This very cool and magical bead was made in Kiffa, Mauritania. It is very old and was made as a female fertility charm, mainly by women artists. Historically, Kiffa beads are very important as its ancient technique (dating to 1000 years ago) made it of the oldest glass bead-making processes in Africa, which was purely African in origin. This small bead is around 200 years old, possibly older; 8mm tall x 10mm wide with a small 1mm hole with two "protective eyes". For more information check out issue #36 of Ornament Magazine has an article on the history of Kiffa Beads, which an be read online.