The oldest African beads are made from ostrich egg shell and were discovered in the Enkapune Ya Muto rock shelter in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.
These beads have been dated to 37,000-39,900 years old, and they comprise 13 complete beads, 12 preforms and 593 shell fragments. It is believed that each bead was made individually and not through the heishi technique of bead making.
While these beads are believed to have symbolized solidarity in ancient Bushmen society, today you can simply enjoy their beauty by wearing them as a necklace.
Making a necklace from ostrich egg shell beads will involve drilling the beads to enable stringing; and thereafter grinding them along a stone to smooth them on the edge.