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Arca Shell Hand Carved Heirloom Beads from Mali
- Arca Shell Hand Carved Heirloom Beads from Mali
- Approx. 26" long
- Bead Approx. 10mm x 11mm to 16mm x 22mm
- Sold by the strand
- These elegant, well worn beads were cut from the inner shell, where the ridges were less prominent, which became a landmark identifier of this type of shell currency bead. Often called "Hippo Teeth" because of their dramatic size and ridge formations, these treasured Heirloom Currency Beads were always made only from shell, and never an actual Hippo tooth bone. These smaller sizes would have held less trade value than the extra large size ridged versions, but would had been used as a Trade Currency and Prestige Heirloom Bead nonetheless.