Checkout this beautiful strand of purple sandcast beads from Ghana, West Africa. Beads such as these are often worn as traditional waist beads. The process of making these beads is unique to Africa and has been used for over 1000 years. Pulverized glass of various colors is poured into a clay mold, using a cassava stem for the bead's hole. The mold is placed in a furnace and heated until the glass particles congeal without actually melting and the stem burns out. The Ghanaians have been making beads in this manner since the 1600s.