African Cultural Narrow Real Cowrie Shell-Leather Ball & Loop Closure Belt
Prior to the establishment, by European colonial powers, of a modern monetary system in Africa, the most widespread currency in the region was gold, most often in the form of gold dust. However, for purchases for which gold was much too valuable cowrie shells were adopted as the common currency for everyday use. As cowrie shells are not native to West African waters they were brought from the Indian Ocean in East Africa. Although they are now no longer of any use as currency they remain esthetically pleasing to Africans for embellishment of many items they use.
The cowrie shells used to make these belts are the real thing, not fake manufactured reproductions. This version of our belts, made in Mali, West Africa, is available in a range of waist sizes but are somewhat adjustable using the traditional leather Ball and Loop closure. Since they are not sized, please accept that they will be shipped in assorted sizes. All are approximately 3/4" wide (1.9 cm), and are available in black leather. The leather is all from African goats, raised for meat, milk and leather.