September 24, 2013

Himba style beaded anklets

 These beaded anklets are made from ordinary black plastic pony beads. The design is modeled after the traditional Himba anklets. The model is wearing a 20 strand layered anklet measuring about 7" wide.

The Himba people live in northern Namibia. Check out this photo gallery or read the National Geographic article here.

These imitation pieces are made with a single piece of multi-filament  synthetic cord to provide strength and chafe resistance. The beads are placed in rows of varying lengths between two pieces of black suede. The cord passes through the suede strip, then through a cinch bead then back through the suede. Each row has an cinch bead. You can see the cinch beads with the zig-zag pattern of cord in the photo at left.

A second piece of cord is threaded through the cinch beads shoelace-fashion then tightened up to provide a snug fit.

The ends of the cords are knotted then buried in the rows of beads.
 This photo shows a pair of 19 strand layered anklets made with metal beads, possibly recycled nuts, and leather strips. The red shoes are perfect.

One of the reasons cited as to why the Himba wear these anklets is the prevalence of snakes. These anklets apparently provide some protection from snakebites.
The plastic beads are considerably lighter than the traditional materials weighing in at a few ounces instead of several pounds. No tests have been done to determine the potential for snakebite resistance...

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