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Rare Antique Small Black Glass Indo-Pacific Trade Wind or Nila Beads, Gao, Mali - Rita Okrent Collection (AT0681)

3 items in stock

Rare and gorgeous black glass excavated Indo-Pacific or Trade Winds  / Nila Beads found in the Gao district of Mali, in between Gao and Niger.

Nila beads are the small monochrome Islamic glass beads than can be found in colors ranging from blue, green, red, black, white to yellow that are widespread in West Africa. They are also referred to as Indo-Pacific or Trade Winds beads, in reference to the ocean streams and winds that, for centuries, were used by the Arab merchant ships bringing them from India to Africa. They often have oxidization patina from burial and age. Large quantities have been found along the river banks of the Niger river in Mali and buried in large quantities in clay pots, used as a form of currency. They are also found in the ground in parts of West Africa and Southeast Asia. The name "Nila" comes from the Sanskrit term for indigo.

Approximate 23” of beads per strand. Beads in photos are representative of available strands. Bead sizes range from 2-6mm per strand.

Strands sold individually. Price is per strand.

As per bead expert, Jamey Allen: Islamic Period beads are ca. 1000 years old. Dating from between ca CD 900-1200. They might be as early as CE 700, and as late as 1400. In 1400, Western Asian glass industries were destroyed by Tamerlane. And soon after, Egypt desisted as well. This is when Venice stepped in and became the glassmaker for all of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

African Item 0681

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5.0 Based on 2 Reviews
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    United States United States
    The best

    Rita Okrent has the most beautiful beads, she delivers quickly (even during the Xmas season), everything is always perfect, I can’t really imagine ordering beads from anyone else.

    DAVID R.
    United States United States
    I DO love nila beads

    Wonderful old beads. Incredible variety of size and shapes...some with more wear than others yet all have nice patina. Right off the bat, I see several that will be my favorite. I appreciate working with Jocelyn and sharing the enthusiasm she has for old (and glorious) beads.

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