Zaiah Necklace

Zaiah is a Swahili name meaning “well-known” or “regal” and is a fitting name for a necklace that is bold yet elegant and combines beautiful and interesting elements from the African continent.

The pendant on this ostrich egg shell bead necklace originates from the Toposa tribe in South Sudan. It is made from camel bone and has brass and copper wire inlaid in a beautiful wheel design; it is more than 30 years old and the bone has a beautiful aged patina. The two large beads are decorated with brass and copper, and are also made by the Toposa tribe. On close inspection you can see the truly intricate workmanship that that has gone into crafting these unique adornments.

The beautiful ostrich egg shell heishi (disc) beads are from the Kenyan Rift Valley and have been used for thousands of years in Africa for adornment; it is the oldest known man-made bead. One finding in Tanzania dated them to the African Middle Stone Age, between 280,000 and 45,000 years ago, demonstrating the capacity for symbolic thought and practice of adornment in archaic humans spanning back to this time. Ostrich egg shell is very durable and after being cut into beads, they are polished by hand against a stone to smooth their edges, leaving lovely luminous beads. They are believed to have symbolised solidarity in ancient Bushmen society.

The necklace is interspersed with brass bicone beads from Ethiopia and finished off with a complementary mix of black, yellow and red African vulcanite beads, which are made from vulcanised rubber. A handcrafted brass clasp, chain and SHIKHAZURI logo bead complete this necklace.

SKU: EKA-081 Categories: , Tag:

Product Details

This ostrich egg shell bead necklace incorporates wonderful materials sourced across the African continent and is a fantastic fusion of history, cultures and style. It features:

  • An African tribal pendant that is handcrafted by the Toposa people of South Sudan
  • Two statement handcrafted Sudanese beads embedded with copper and brass wire
  • Ostrich egg shell beads sourced from the Rift Valley in Kenya
  • African vulcanite discs
  • Antique Ethiopian brass bicone spacer beads
  • A handmade brass clasp, adjustable chain and SHIKHAZURI logo bead
  • Length: 47cm including clasp, with 6cm chain extension to enable necklace length to be adjusted
  • Pendant height: 6cm; width: 4.5cm

The components are personally sourced by Shikha during her travels around the world and this statement necklace is assembled in her home studio in Kenya.

FREE worldwide shipping, protective packaging and a beautiful handmade banana leaf jewellery box lined with Maasai shuka and Kenya kanga fabric is included, as well as a personally signed card by Shikha with the story behind this piece.