Connecting You To Your Roots: The History of African Handcrafted Jewelry


Woman wearing African Big jewelry



Did you know Africa was the first place where people made and wore jewelry? The beauty of  handmade and handcrafted jewelry dates back to over 75,000 years ago when archaeologists discovered pea sized snail shells as beads in a cave called Blombos in South Africa.  In Kenya, beads over 40,000 years old made from perforated ostrich egg shells have been discovered. This was the spark of something beautiful.Today, women all over the world adorn themselves in the finest jewelry for numerous reasons than you may believe. As for Afro-Indie, though we have added a modern twist to our designs, our inspiration will always stem from the beautiful craftsmanship and ancient designs of various cultures of color around the world, but today we focus on the motherland, better known as Africa!

In the beginning, jewelry crafters used organic readily available material that were suitable in their region to create their skillful designs. As time moved on, African craftsmen perfected and improved their jewelry making techniques. It comes in many forms and is used for a number of functions besides bodily adornment. In fact, it can be a decorative item used to keep the hair in place or better else a symbol of power and prestige of an individual in the society.

Ancient Africans have also utilized jewelry for ancient rituals and ceremonies. You can see them being used to represent the union of marriage and partnership. In the Saharan communities, jewelry is used as a means for currency to buy crops such as rice, vegetables, wheat and salt. Needless to say, jewelry was less about enhancing one's beauty and more about advancement of their communities and molding a society rich in culture.  

Woman wearing Statement earrings

Today, you can see its influence reflected in some of your favorite jewelry resellers and designers. Though we are all about adorning ourselves in the finest intricate and ornately designed accessories, our mission goes much beyond this aspect. Connecting women of color to their roots and encouraging them to embrace their heritage through fashion first means learning about its origin and this is why we care so much about sharing the heritage with our sisters from across the world. We come from royalty and everyday, despite the odds against us, resilience, strength, and power runs through our DNA and this is what makes us worthy to hold the honorable title and be acknowledged as a QUEEN.