Rare Small Kiffa Bead-Pendant from Mauritania
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This small and very cool and magical bead/pendant 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 bead is around 200 years old, possibly older, and averages 17mm long x 10mm diameter with a very tiny .5mm hole. Typically these "pendant" shaped kiffa beads were not made with a pattern on its flat back -- but this one does! Very rare!!
For more information check out issue #36 of Ornament Magazine has an article on the history of Kiffa Beads, which an be read online.