Bone beads have been around for centuries, and are one of the very first materials used by ancient cultures to create tools for daily use, and later decorative jewelry for various purposes. The bone material itself is similar in its properties to ivory but does not carry the troubled connection to poaching.
Instead, the materials used to create these are most often sourced as a common byproduct of the food industry, and the beads that we source from India and Nepal come from a more sustainable system in which the entirety of the animal is respected and utilized. These artisan craftsmen take care to use every part of the animal, using the meat for meals, the bones for items such as these and using the hide and furs for clothing, blankets, and talismans.
The bone beads that we provide are meticulously hand carved and dyed by local artisans, meaning that you will receive the highest quality craftsmanship, as well as pieces that are formed through centuries of tradition, instead of mass produced means.
Crafting Beautiful Beads
Because bone is a very easy material to work with, it can be shaped into any number of appealing configurations, such as cylinders, discs, ovals, circles, and longish shapes known as hairpipes. With skill and patience, expert artisans can even carve them into more intricate shapes that can act as the focal point of any piece of jewelry that they are added to. Regardless of the kind of shape bones are made into, they will generally all have to be threaded, so as to become part of a necklace, bracelet, or other jewelry item. Even very thin bones can be threaded and included as part of a particular piece of jewelry. Some craftsmen produce extremely ornate jewelry items, with each bead in the piece getting special attention, and being hand-decorated with whatever design has been chosen by the craftsman.
An additional benefit of working with bone, is that they can take paints and dyes really well, often absorbing the dye deeply and allowing some of the differences and imperfections in each bead to shine through as a unique element. Longer beading such as circle, oval, and hairpipe can also be hand painted, or even etched to provide special details and designs. This means that whatever piece of jewelry you intend to craft, from necklace, bracelet, mandala, or any other piece, it will have a unique and beautiful quality added in, informed through years of tradition.
These are lightweight and versatile, allowing for their use in numerous ways. Whether you intend to create a piece of jewelry for everyday wear, or a more formal piece for special occasions, these will visually adapt to each outfit. Historically these have been important decorations due to the symbolic meaning attached to them by the culture of the artisans, and also stemming from a reverence for the animal the bones come from. This important meaning and reverence is reflected in the time and care that the artisans use to hand carve each bead, and these are the qualities that we look for when we source ours.
Each bead that we supply to you is delicately carved and dyed by hand, and crafted by artisans from remote villages across the globe, ensuring that you receive beading that is not only of the highest quality but also authentic. Informed by years of cultural tradition, you can wear them with pride knowing that care and respect went into the creation of each piece.
If you are a creator of jewelry pieces, either for sale or personal use, using authentic beading will mean that you can know that every aspect of your pieces are handcrafted and authentic. Additionally, you will have the knowledge that the materials that you use to craft your jewelry are ethically sourced, and carry with them this rich history. If you are looking for authentic and high-quality bone beading, please take a look at all of the options we have available for you. Handmade by expert artisans, you will understand the value of ethically sourced products informed by years of experience and cultural traditions. Many of these pair well with our African beads, and the various Tassels we have available for you.
Our selection of artisan-made bone beading is 100% HANDMADE and AUTHENTIC. Heishi, skull, hairpipe, rondelle, melon, and many more shapes are available. WomanShopsWorld works directly with the artisans making these hand-carved items to ensure superior quality and craftsmanship. The making of this beading and pendants is a cottage industry in India that provides a livelihood for families in remote villages, which we are honored to share their craft with you. Every single bead is carved and stained by hand. We offer a wide selection of colors, shapes, and sizes for creatives. If you're looking for more styles, click here to see authentic African trade beads.