Tamba (Multicolor, 20-strand)


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 antique tamba features 20 strands of small glass tubes (and some rounds) measuring approximately 3 - 3.5 mm in diameter and varying in color to include orange, pink, yellow, and light blue. There are also some coiled metal tubes mixed in among the seed beads in these strands. They have turned a rich dark metallic brown color - it's likely that they are brass. When these coiled metal tubes are mixed into the strands, they are generally offset by glass tube beads of contrasting color placed on either side of them. The orange glass ovals in the center measure approximately 22 mm long x 7.5 mm in diameter.
The overall length of this tamba is 37.5 inches, with 28 inches composed of beads, and 9.5 inches composed of the exposed rope it is strung on, toward the back of the necklace.