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Product OLD, Mali, clay, spindle whorl bead necklace with Ethiopian brass rings
OLD, Mali, clay, spindle whorl bead necklace with Ethiopian brass rings
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OLD, Mali, clay, spindle whorl beads (31mm X 27mm) with two Ethiopian brass ring beads, 23 inches long necklace. Although often collected and strung as beads, these were originally spindle whorls used to spin thread. Whorls are a drum-like section on the lower part of a spindle in spinning or weaving machinery serving as a pulley for the tape drive that rotates the spindle. Clay spindle whorls have been used in the Niger and Bani River area of Africa since at least 1000 AD. The age of these beads is unknown. Their condition is good. These beads have been traded across at least three continents and graced many owners, their patina attests to their age and use and includes some end chips, pitting and corrosion. To read more about these beads read Beads of the World by Peter Francis and Beads, An Exploration of Bead Traditions Around the World by Coles and Budwig. These neutral tone beads work extremely well with almost any suit or casual outfit. Finally, the beads have been strung together using a laborious and intricate macrame technique.

To have survived to the present, these beads have been cherished by their previous owners. To best care for this necklace, it is recommended that you store it flat and separate from other jewelry to reduce the chance of damage to your beads. To maintain the wonderful old patina, it is recommended that you do not polish these metal beads. We hope you enjoy and treasure your necklace as much as its previous owners have!