Our West African Trade Bead Bracelet features beautiful blue trade beads, ostrich shell and a Coptic cross. The blue glass gazi trade beads are authentic and come from West Africa, where they were used between the 1700s and 1800s as a form of payment for goods, services, and slaves (hence their alternative name, "slave beads"). We believe these beads are not only beautiful, but represent a rich part of African history that should be told. The little white disks separating the trade beads are shaped from ostrich shell.
The Coptic Cross is from Ethiopia. It represents the Coptic Christians who were the first Christians after Christ’s death. They fled to Ethiopia and are thought to be the keepers of the Ark of the Covenant. Each of these bracelets is handmade by local artisans in Eswatini, Africa. No two bracelets are alike.