Bauxite clay beads were originally made in West Africa in countries such as Ghana. These beads played a role in traditional rites and ceremonies such as circumcision, coming of age, marriage, burial, as well as other traditional festivals.
These beads were mainly worn as pendants and bracelets, and formed a visual language that spoke of the beliefs, status, family, life experiences and accomplishments of the bead wearer.
Bauxite clay beads were formed with care to produce a final ornament that would tell the story of the wearer. As such, these beads served as a biography of the community, village and the individuals that adorned themselves with the bauxite clay beads.