The art of making traditional Kiffa beads is gone. Such beads were originally made in Kiffa, Mauritania. They were used as hair adornments by Kiffa women. Nobody is really certain of the age of this period of Kiffa bead making. Most of the experts in this field date it to the early 1900 s through to the 1940 s.
Traditional Kiffa beads were individually produced by hand, with a central core made out of various materials. This core was sometimes made from dark gray powdered glass and sometimes non-glass materials. Using a needle and spit, tiny portions of red or blue or yellow or white powdered glass were laboriously applied to the bead core. This was done over and over again until the beads were totally covered with this outer layer of powdered glass. The semi-finished beads were then "cooked" over outdoor open fires until the powdered glass fused.