River Beads February 14, 2017 13:38

Zulu Teething Beads, Imfibinga Seeds, Job’s Tears – call them what you will they are amazingly versatile and everyone should have a set in their accessory drawer!

River beads on vintage silk tunic
They are natural beautiful, characterful, eco friendly, fairly traded and sustainable and the match nearly everything in most wardrobes. Batch them together, or wear them as single strands. You can even wind them around your wrist as a bracelet.

Truly a feel good addition to your wardrobe your riverbeads are not made in a factory,  are completely sustainable,  are stylish and natural,  are fairly traded and generate income in small communities.

green river beads

That’s not all – they have an interesting, international and multicultural history,  even though ours are from Africa,  the Imfibinga Seeds or Zulu River Beads have been around for centuries and are native to South East Asia and Africa where our River Beads come from. They have been naturalised around the world and were even used in the tribal wear of Eastern Cherokee Indians.

Our Riverbeads are grown wild in the Mpumalanga area for KwaZulu in South Africa. Generations of Zulu Mothers have used them as teething aids for their babies, they are also know as "teething beads". (but not to be used as such please!)
river beads grass seeds
These tropical wild grass seeds are known as Coix Lacryma Jobi in formal circles and around the world are called Job's Tears or Chinese Pearl Barley.

For centuries they have been used as decorative jewellery and rosaries, the softer variety used in ancient Chinese medicine, Korean tea, Vietnamese sweet, cold soup and even as a cereal crop.

So buy a set or two – they look great en-masse and I promise you – they will go with just about everything in your cupboard.

river beads with indigo cotton