Trade Bead Necklace with Walrus Ivory Pendant

Trade Bead Necklace with Fossil Walrus Ivory Pendant

Trade Bead Necklace with Fossil Walrus Ivory Pendant

This green and white trade bead necklace was interesting to make because it gave me the opportunity to research petroglyphs. The pendant is a hunk of fossil walrus ivory with a copy of a prehistoric petroglyph from the Noeick River Valley near Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada. This image and others with protruding facial expressions are said to depict shamanic iconography; rayed hair, protruding tongues, bug eyes, etc.  If one researches petroglyphs around the world you will find that almost every human figure drawn by rock artists is wearing something on their head or their face indicating a special power or importance.

Trade Bead Necklace Closer Look

Trade Bead Necklace Closer Look

Mixing different green beads with Ivory to produce a woods and snow effect I think was successful, when I think of Bella Coola I always think of trees and snow.  Bella Coola is a heavily forested area with huge snowy mountains for most of the year, think green and white! The two center 17mm green and white Chevrons with a red internal layer are pretty primitive when it comes to Chevron beads, only 4 layers and not shaped on the ends. Primitive was the effect I was going for and I suspect these were made in Murano, Venice in the late 1800’s.  Lovely, 10mm, dark green Venetian Monochromes are next in line, and I’m thinking also late 1800’s, Venetian or Bavarian made because of the clear dark quality of the mandrel wound glass. There are dark shell buttons for flavor, 10mm and 7mm fossil Ivory beads, approximately 5mm tubes of cane drawn green Chevrons, 6mm Zebra Jasper and my all-time favorite Moss Agate chunks with 10mm and 8mm beads, with lots of oxidized brass spacers, plus old white Pony beads to finish up with a shell button clasp.

About Janet Walker

4 Responses to “Trade Bead Necklace with Walrus Ivory Pendant”

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  1. Jessica Stier says:

    Lovely!!! I have always been fascinated by petroglyphs. There is something really cool about seeing the written/drawn images of peoples gone by. The color choice for this necklace is amazing!

  2. Owen says:

    I think those green chevrons are earlier than the late 1800’s because they are not ground on the ends and are only four layers. This seems to me an earlier technique than the big fancy chevrons, and there seems to be a lot of them. I think they were traded over a long period of time, so they may be that late but could easily be much earlier. IMHO

  3. Janet Walker says:

    Thanks, Jessica, It was fun to work in the greens. Maybe I’m yearning for Spring! And I’ve always been very partial to Moss Agate. To find large green Chevrons is also a treat, not very common, but the smaller ones are easier to find if you look for them. Melon shapes too are more common than the tubes which seem rarer and more pricey.

  4. Andrew says:

    How can I get one of these pendants?
    I live in Bella Coola and would love to have this piece.

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