A "tamba" is a group of multi-stranded European glass seed beads (also known as "hanks"). They were traditionally worn around a woman's waist in the Ivory Coast circa pre- to early 1900s and are very collectible.
This colorful antique tamba features African Christmas beads - glass seed beads of varying diameter often with streaks of color. Christmas beads are very small (1mm to 6mm diameter) Venetian and Czech glass beads that were traded mainly in Ghana during the late 1800s and early 1900s. There is also 1 strand composed primarily of tiny black vinyl discs.
The necklace measures a total of 34.5 inches long. To give a sense of proportion, there 11.5 inches of seed beads (not exceeding 3 mm in diameter) strung on either side of the 1.5 inch section of center glass beads (which measure 22.5 mm long x 7.5 mm in diameter.) There are 10 inches of the exposed rope (used to string the tamba) at the back of the necklace.