Ancient Nila Trade Beads - Picture Collection 59
Popularly known as 'Nila'
( the Arabic word for blue and Sanskrit for Indigo ) they display a beautiful translucent blue green colour when held up to a light source.
These beads probably arrived in Mali around 1000 years ago, via the ancient trade routes to Djenné .. from other areas of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
 Many have been buried beneath the Sahara Desert sands for centuries.

Nila trade beads

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