Ostrich Shell Belt

This ostrich shell belt was made by the San (Bushmen) of Botswana, a country in southern Africa. Ostrich shells play important roles in their culture, serving not only as beads for body ornamentation, but also as water storage containers, essential in the hot, dry environment in which the San live. To make beads, the egg shell is broken into small fragments, which are further shaped by hand into circular pieces. A small hole is drilled through the center of each bead. The whole process is by hand, so considerable time would have gone into the making of this belt. Jewelry made from ostrich shell is worn almost exclusively by women.
Catalog Number
60764
122