Who would believe this small shell had and still has so many uses!
The first time I noticed cowrie shells was as a child in Ghana and I was fascinated to see it inland. Basically thinking it was a baby sea shell as being used to seeing very large ones in UK at the beach. I have never seen the snails only the shell. Cowrie shells are found under rocky reefs maily in ocean coastal lines and come in many coloured shades, but we are mostly familiar with the white cowrie shell.
I am drawn to Cowrie shells as I poses many accessories that I have purchased and had made by artisans at the Art Centre in Accra. I had visited a few weeks ago and was adorned by this necklace for 450 cedis made by an artisan I call ‘uncle’ who runs shop number 119. Maybe a nice gift for my Earthday in June
In 2014 I visited a Museum in Uganda. In the 18th century in parts of Ancient Africa they were the first symbol and choice of currency/money until 20th century. The shells were put into baskets and weighed to determine the value.
Did you know in Ghana the national currency is called the Cedi – translated from the Akan Twi dialect meaning cowrie.
The cowrie shell is known to have many purposes and uses throughout the globe depending on the culture. Such as jewellery, ceremony purposes, spiritual, decoration, rituals, placed on altars and shrines. The shape is known to represent femininity as a symbol of fertility and goddess protection.
ooooo and of course lets not forget the artwork
(image taken at Chale Wote festival 2019)
bless Sister E