Powder glass beads are a type of necklace ornamentation that dates all the way back to 970 C.E. in the area known now as Mapungubwe, in South Africa. In the modern era, production of these beads is primarily located in Ghana, West Africa. Beads such as these play important roles in many African societies, be it in rituals of birth, coming of age, marriage, or death. Powder glass beads are made from finely ground glass shards recovered from unusable glass scraps such as broken windows, bottles, and plates that are reheated to create the glass beads.