What are shell beads used for?
These long, thick, solid, spiraling pieces of shell were a highly prized material for making clothing pins, ear orna- ments, and of course, beads. The ancient Choctaw word for these columella beads was probably “oksup” (see Byington 1915:301).
What is shell bead?
Shell jewelry is a type of shellcraft. One very common form of shell jewelry is necklaces that are composed of large numbers of beads, where each individual bead is the whole (but often drilled) shell of a small sea snail. In fact, shell beads are the oldest form of jewelry known, dating back over 100,000 years.
What are white beads made of?
Wampum — which comes from a Narragansett (Algonquian language family) word meaning a string of white shell beads — are tubular beads manufactured from Atlantic coast seashells. While a variety of shells may be used, most often the white shells are formed from the whelk shell and the purple from the quahog clam shell.
What are heishi beads?
Heishe or heishi (pronounced “hee shee”) are small disc- or tube-shaped beads made of organic shells or ground and polished stones. They come from the Kewa Pueblo people (formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) of New Mexico, before the use of metals in jewelry by that people.
What shells are used for jewelry?
There are several kinds of seashells that are most suited for shell jewelry. Even some of the sea creatures such as sand dollars, starfish, and seahorses are used in jewelry designs. Artists often choose conical, puka, bonnet, and other seashells when creating jewelry pieces.
What does a shell bracelet mean?
According to African legend, if you are attracted to the shell it was believed you carried the strength of the ocean. In Africa, South America and North America, the cowrie symbolized prosperity and destiny. Additionally, in many West African cultures the cowrie shell is regarded as a sign of fertility.
What is pearl shell?
Shell Pearls are made from the inner lining of oyster shells, also known as Mother of Pearl. The substance is ground to a fine powder, shaped, dyed and coated with natural pearl nacre and then a protective coating to give it lustre.
What are white beads for?
Since white dresses are a reflection to purity and cleanliness, wearing white beads also promotes sincerity, honesty, purity and cleanliness. The hidden meaning in the color is basically an attraction.
How do you clean heishi beads?
Sprinkle a fair amount of dry baking soda onto a soft cloth. Hold the cloth in the palm of your hand and rub the strands of Heishi tube beads while carefully pulling them through the cloth. After cleaning the strands, shake them to remove excess powder.
What is pen shell heishi?
Description. Add these natural Heishi penshell beads to your jewelry designs for an organic and fun look. These beads are approximately 3-4mm in size, but the diameter will vary. These brown shells vary in hue from light amber to dark chocolate. They look as if they just washed ashore, pulled in by the ocean waves.
Can shells be valuable?
Some shells are quite valuable, worth tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Arguably the rarest shell today is the “Sphaerocypraea incomparabilis”, a kind of snail with a dark shiny shell and an unusual boxy-oval shape and a row of fine teeth on one edge.