Lamba Trade Bead Pillow

Lamba means “belt” in Nyanja, a Bantu language spoken by over 15 million people across Zambia, Malawi and other regions of Southern Africa. Rows of cowrie shells form a belt across this design, accented by a central cast bronze trade pendant and rings of wooden seed beads.

Beneath thatched roofs and in the shade of mango trees, kanju artisans sew, bead, and embroider South African plush cotton pillow covers in both vibrant and subtle hues. Fabric is embellished with unique trade beads sourced from across Africa, some of them centuries old. Each pillow is French-seamed and features a concealed zipper closure and hearty down alternative pillow insert.




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