Cowrie Ileli Trade Bead Pillow

Ileli means “ladder” in Xhosa. kanju’s Cowrie Ileli Trade Bead Pillow features cowrie shells that alternate to form a vertical patterned stepping ladder with glass and wood seed beads radiating outward from the center.

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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