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Bone Beads & Embellishments

Recycled bone beads and embellishments from Kenya

All across Africa, bone has been carved into beads for centuries. The tradition continues to this day. In Kenya, skilled craftsmen carve and shape recycled cow bone, then use a wax resist batik process to create wonderful African designs.

Our unique bone beads are made by our friend Kenedy Owiti and his co-operative style group of craft producers in Nairobi. They call themselves 'The Victorious Youth Group' - a fitting name for such a friendly and enthusiastic bunch of entrepreneurs.

They buy sacks of scrubbed cow bone (and sometimes camel) from the local abattoires. Then, they cut and shape the beads into various designs using electric saws and grinding wheels. Some beads are etched by hand, but the majority go through a batik process.

The makers paint melted candle wax onto the surface of the bone bead to create a resist. Then, they dip the beads into a solution of potassium permanganate, which tints any unwaxed bone dark brown. After washing off the wax resist, they polish the batiked beads to a shiny finish.

Bead size and scale

As a visual clue to the size and scale of our beads, we use a Star beer cap in our bead images. Why Star? Because it's the major beer of Ghana where most of our beads are made. Also, on the buy pages, we indicate approximate bead dimensions in millimetres.

Shaping recycled bone beads Nairobi KenyaShaping recycled bone beads: Nairobi, Kenya
Multi-buy saving - Mix 'n' Match

Any 10 for the price of 9
Applies to all £2.35 packs of beads. Your discount will be applied automatically at the checkout.


Bone Animal Pack
image for Bone Animal Pack
£13.50BBB901
Ostrich
image for Ostrich
£1.35BBB501
Guinea Fowl
image for Guinea Fowl
£1.20BBB502
Elephant
image for Elephant
£1.35BBB503
Tortoise
image for Tortoise
£1.35BBB504
Lizard
image for Lizard
£1.35BBB505
Large Giraffe
image for Large Giraffe
£1.35BBB506
Small Giraffe
image for Small Giraffe
£1.35BBB507
Long Snake
image for Long Snake
£1.35BBB508
Small Snake
image for Small Snake
£1.35BBB509
Zebra
image for Zebra
£1.35BBB510
Porcupine
image for Porcupine
£1.35BBB511
Gecko
image for Gecko
£1.35BBB512
Bone Masks and Charms
image for Bone Masks and Charms
£11.70BBB902
Ashanti Doll
image for Ashanti Doll
£1.35BBB521
Hut
image for Hut
£1.35BBB522
Maasai
image for Maasai
£2.25BBB524
Shield
image for Shield
£1.35BBB525
Long Mask
image for Long Mask
£1.35BBB531
Round Mask
image for Round Mask
£1.35BBB532
Tube Mask
image for Tube Mask
£1.35BBB533
Pipe Mask
image for Pipe Mask
£1.53BBB534
Small Mask
image for Small Mask
£0.72BBB535
Classic Mask
image for Classic Mask
£1.35BBB536
Batik Pipe
image for Batik Pipe
£1.53BBB101
Disk Star
image for Disk Star
£0.72BBB105
Disk Spots
image for Disk Spots
£0.72BBB106
Leaf
image for Leaf
£0.72BBB125
Giraffe Leaf
image for Giraffe Leaf
£0.72BBB126
Zebra Leaf
image for Zebra Leaf
£0.72BBB127
Batik Ball
image for Batik Ball
£1.53BBB128
Two Circles
image for Two Circles
£0.72BBB116
One Circle
image for One Circle
£1.10BBB117
Small Carved Bone
image for Small Carved Bone
£2.35BBB201
Medium Carved Bone
image for Medium Carved Bone
£2.35BBB203
 
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