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There is nothing quite like the charming and mysterious feel of ancient Djenne Beads. Here at The Bead Chest, we carry an assortment of rare Djenne Beads. These worn and eclectic beauties are truly unique and come with an ancient artisan character all their own. Imagine all the hands these beads have passed through before getting to you. It is truly remarkable. Coming in various different colors and sizes we know you’ll be able to find the perfect Djenne treasure for your artisan jewelry collection.

Djenne beads are found in various archaeological sites in sub-Saharan Africa. Djenne Beads are believed to come from the ancient city of Djenne-Djeno. Djenne-Djeno is often compared to the cities of ancient Egypt. The city of Djenne-Djeno was located in the African state of Mali. According to archeological research, Djenne was originally settled around 250 BC. At the time the area where Djenne-Djeno was settled was an oasis. The land surrounding Djenne was comprised of grassy plains, lakes, and rivers making it very easy for local farmers, artisans and citizens to live a sustainable lifestyle. One of the main crops that was produced in Djenne was rice. The people of Djenne had a very prosperous period for their city and community until about 1000 CE. Its believed that around 1000 CE a lot of the cities main sources of water and fertile soil had been overused. Due to this, the population ended up migrating to different areas across Africa. 

The artisan artifacts found in Djenne-Djeno dig sites have always perplexed and amazed archeologist and modern day jewelry makers due to their intricate and complicated designs. Some of the most artistic artifacts found are statues and sculptures made out of terracotta. It's been noted by the many who’ve seen these sculptures and artifacts in museums that the faces of these figurines always have a very haunting expression on their faces. Terracotta was also used by the people of Djenne to make jewelry! A lot of the terracotta bead strands that have been found have interesting etchings and patterns carved into the sides of them. Many archaeologists theorize that these oversized carved terracotta beads were not only used as jewelry but also to weigh down fishing nets. Its believed that these terracotta beads were also used as a form of local currency. It is hypothesized that the city of Djenne pro-longed prosperity was due to effective trade routes that spanned all across Africa.

Whether you looking to buy these beads to display them in a home decor centerpiece or if you’re planning on wearing them as a conversation starting necklace the story these beads have to tell is truly astounding. Due to the rarity of Djenne Beads our supply is limited. So if you see something you like make sure to get it! A chance to take home such an interesting piece of history like this is few and far between.