Kiffa Bead Strand


Kiffa beads are among the most beautiful beads ever made.  Period.  The women of Mauritania, and in particular the towns of Kiffa, began making these powdered glass beads in the mid-20th century.  As Wikipedia describes them:

Kiffa beads represent one of the highest levels of artistic skill and ingenuity in beadmaking, being manufactured with the simplest materials and tools available - pulverized European glass beads or fragments of them, bottle glass, pottery shards, tin cans, twigs, steel needles, some gum arabic, and open fires.

This is a particularly nice strand for someone looking to get into collecting crazy-rare Kiffa beads.  There are a wide variety of Kiffa bead types, with most in good to excellent condition.  

  • The stars of the show are clearly the two full size beads towards the middle with the beautiful glass line drawings that epitomize the most beautiful Kiffa beads.  Note that one of these beauties (the one on the left) has been skillfully touched up with a little bit of paint (visible upon close inspection in the picture).  Additionally, the back of the fancy bead on the right shows some age.  Still -- both these beads are beautiful and would be welcome in any Kiffa bead collection.
  • The strand also features two smaller fully decorated triangular beads.  They are in good shape, although they are about half the size of the larger beads, and look to have perhaps been slightly overcooked.  Anyway, the line decorations are not as sharp as their larger consigns.  
  • The blue and red triangular beads are also, for the most part, in good condition.  However you can see that one of the blue beads has a significant crack on one corner.  
  • The smaller beads at the top of the strand include four or five vintage Venetian trade beads masquerading as Kiffa beads.  Still very nice, but not Kiffas.   
  • The strand is relatively short -- measuring a little over 14 inches long.  



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