Lost Wax Brass Bead Strand, 25 mm, Cast Tribal Cage, Ghana, Item JE25
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Lost Wax Brass Bead Strand, 25 mm, Cast Tribal Cage, Ghana, Item JE25


Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.

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Look at how beautiful these brass beads are! The units making up each bead appear twisted like rope, and look wrapped in the center and on the ends, forming cage like beads. The opening on each end is quite wide (approximately 1/8″ or .4 cm), and easily accommodates the thick natural twine that they are strung on. A patina on the metal gives a slight variation in color to each of the beads.

Average Dimensions:

Bead Size: 1″ (2.5 cm) long, .5″ (12 mm) diameter
Strand Length: 21.5 inches (55 centimeters) 20 beads per strand

Please examine the photos carefully. We have made every attempt to get as close to the color as possible, but different monitors do interpret these colors differently. And, you will notice that the sizes of the beads do vary from strand to strand. Flaws, hairline cracks and uneven finishing is part of this handmade process.

From the Beadazzled.net dictionary of beads:

Lost-Wax Casting In Africa

The Baoulé people of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa are members of the Akan group that also includes the Ashanti. The Akan have used the lost-wax, or cire-perdue, casting method for centuries. Their first ornaments were probably made of locally mined gold. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, was first brought across the Sahara by Arab camel caravans and later to West African ports by European trading ships. Today beads and ornaments are still made by this ancient method in Ghana and the Ivory Coast—in gold for chiefs and other important persons, and in brass (often erroneously called bronze) for more humble bead-lovers in Africa and abroad.

To make a bead or pendant, the craftsman first makes a model from beeswax, usually forming it from thin wax threads. Besides spherical beads and bicones, popular designs include disks, rectangles, and other geometric shapes, as well as human masks and animal motifs. The beadmaker coats the model with a slurry of fine clay and charcoal and then envelops it in coarser clay. When making small beads, he may encase several models in this thick clay mold. When the mold is heated, the melted wax drains out though openings left for this purpose (sprues), and molten brass is poured into the resulting cavity. After it cools, the mold is broken to free the casting, rough spots are filed down, and the ornament is polished with fine sand and lemon juice or a grinding wheel, if the maker can afford one. Brass beads may be given a gold wash for a more brilliant finish, or polished with black wax for an antique look. Unlike other types of casting, the lost-wax method insures that every bead is a unique original because once the mold is broken open it can’t be reused.

Visit our Etsy shop for more beads and other tribal jewelry and textiles!


Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in handcut, unpolished beads from Afghanistan and the region. Working with artisans directly in the Peshawar region, your purchase helps support small workshops who work in traditions established over centuries in the Silk Road. Afghanistan has great wealth in its natural resources, including an endless variety of semi-precious stones. Unpolished stones take in the oils of the skin with wear and develop a deep patina over time.

Recognizing that these strands are more expensive than the dyed and commercial stones that flood the market these days, we encourage our customers to think of buying with other friends and splitting the strands or to buy quantity in order to save on shipping. Free shipping on orders over $100.

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Free shipping on all purchases over $100.
All sales on Etsy are in USD.

Afghan Tribal Arts

I have been importing from Central Asia since the 1980’s. Afghan Tribal Arts focuses on hand carved gemstones, beads, tribal jewelry, vintage textiles and nomadic carpets. We have a huge inventory of handmade crafts from around the world.

Our gallery is at 626 Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky, USA. We have a nice selection of beads and smaller items on Etsy: Visit us!

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The products you see here are examples of what we have sold in the past. Let us know what you are looking for and we will work with you.  We have lots of photos of our gallery on our Facebook page and you can look through them and contact us if you see something you want to know more about.

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