It's More Than Jewellery - It's The Culture
The Historical Significance of our items
What we sell and why
Crowie Shells hold a long and significant meaning in different African cultures. Crowie Shells were once used as a means of payment and regarded as a symbol of wealth and power. This monetary usage continued until the 20th century. The durable and light-weight characteristics of the shells made them an ideal trading currency long before the world adopted to other forms of currency.
In Ancient African legend, the cowrie shells also symbolised ties to the ocean spirit of wealth and earth as it represented the Goddess of protection in the ocean; Orisha. Wearing or being in possession of these shells symbolised destiny and prosperity.
Cowrie shells like gold, have always had multiple purposes, it was and is still worn as jewellery, ornaments or charms.
In Mende culture, (a Sierra Leonean Tribe) cowrie shells are viewed as symbols of womanhood, fertility, birth and wealth. It is common to see women adorn and make jewellery with this shell.
Our Items with the Crowie Shell
Did you know that waistbeads can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian era? Back then these were then known as “girdle”.
In the Ashante and Krobo tribes (both Ghanian cultures), mothers present waist beads to their daughters to mark their coming of age. Once she reaches sexual maturity, larger beads or bells may be added. This is so that, when a woman walks, the beads produce a sound to inform potential suitors of her availability. The practice of wearing multiple strands over time can help keep the waist small and accentuate one’s natural curves. Traditional waist beads are strung on cotton cord with no clasp or hook. It is believed that the beads possess the power to attract as well as evoke deep emotional responses. Traditional waist beads are meant to be worn until they break or fall off.
But waistbeads also have a spiritual meaning, they can be used as a healing tool as they encourage self-love, confidence, and beauty within a woman.
View our handmade waistbeads below
Ankara prints are a popular west African print but are also known as “Holland wax” and “Dutch wax”. This is as they are 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns. The cloth was first invented by a Dutch entrepreneur who found a way to create printed cotton in 1846.
For centuries African women have used fabric as a form of communication; for storytelling and documenting their culture and traditions. Ankara patterns have been named after African proverbs, personalities, cities, places, and occasions, and many African people have a strong connection with the fabric because of personal history.
One of the best things about Ankara fabric is the intensity of its African prints does not change compared to other printed textiles that fade quickly. This is because of the “wax resistant” technique used in printing the textile.
View Our Ankara Print Items Below
The origins of Kente cloth date back to 12th century Africa, by the Ashanti people of Ghana. Historically the fabric was worn in a toga-like fashion by Ashanti and now the wearing of Kente cloth has become widespread for special occasions such as wedding ceremonies.
The cloth is made of handwoven cloth, strips of silk and cotton. It is made from thin strips about 4 centimeters thick woven together.
Kente cloth holds powerful meanings with the colours symbolising certain things. Gold symbolises status and or serenity, yellow symbolises fertility, green symbolises renewal, blue symbolises pure spirit and or harmony, red symbolises passion, black symbolises a union with ancestors and or spiritual awareness.
View our Kente print items below
Our support programme
At AdeAfrica we care about creating positive change and impact across the continent. Our Support programme ensures that we are actively contributing to progressing people on the continent.
Our AdeAfrica Support programme works with local individual businesses across the African continent such as local craftsmen, tailors, artists and musicians.
The programme aims to use different social media platforms and this website to help promote the products of these African businesses, to be seen and sold to a wider audience.
40% of ALL profits made will be given back to the individual business owners allowing them to profit and expand their business. Read more here
Our Ẹ̀bùn Collection
Ẹ̀bùn in the West African language of Yoruba means ‘gift’.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on many African communities with millions losing their sources of income. Our Ẹ̀bùn collection works with African-owned charities across Africa to better help communities on the continent.
25% of profits from any sale made in this collection will go to one of our partnered and registered charities. We want you to be in control of the impact you make so after each order we will ask you which of our supported charities below you would like the money from your purchase to go to.
We see this collection as a cycle that keeps on giving; we provide you with beautiful high-quality jewellery and you in return give to a charity that helps eradicate some of the problems facing certain African communities. Read more here