Country: Ghana Material: Stainless steel, cowrie shell Width: Approx. 0.75 inch Height: Approx. 1.25-1.5 inches Weight: Approx. 0.3 oz
This ring was handmade by a very talented and creative designer under the brand “For The Ancestors" in Accra, Ghana. Cowrie shells have been in use through Africa since at least the 9th century and were used as a source of currency with traders as far away as China. Cowrie shells took on special significance in West Africa especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. A person's wealth was literally measured in Cowrie shells. Beyond representing wealth they also represent fertility for many West African cultures and are incorporated into jewelry with the purpose of increasing fertility. Cowrie shells can take on a spiritual purpose and are used in West African fortune telling and religious rituals. The hard, durable structure also symbolizes longevity for many West African tribes.