Ashaki is a West African name meaning “beautiful”.
This pendant was originally a seed from a tree grown on the East African coast and is locally referred to as a tiwi nut. It has been inlaid with a beautiful design made from an old brass cartridge and copper wire and has been turned into a pendant. The chocolate brown pod itself is beautifully smooth and has a luscious sheen.
The pendant is complemented by three strands of translucent brown glass beads from Ghana. These are made in Krobo, in the eastern region of Ghana, using a method that has been implemented for centuries. It involves baking fragments of recycled glass in moulds that are lined with a mixture of kaolin and water. The kiln in which they are fired is made from termite mound clay and is heated using crushed palm kernels, which burn at a very high temperature. The hole for the bead is made either using a cassava stem that burns up during firing and leaves a hole, or by using a small metal tool. Once cooled, they are washed using sand and water and rubbed against a stone to polish them. Krobo glass beads have been used in ceremonies of birth, coming of age, marriage, and death for over 400 years in West Africa.
Old brass bicone beads from Ethiopia are used as spacers and give this necklace a touch of rich opulence. It is finished off with brass heishi disc beads from Kenya, a handcrafted clasp, chain and SHIKHAZURI logo bead.
These beads are personally sourced by Shikha during her travels around the world and this statement necklace is assembled in her studio.