Ancient Nila and Fouille Beads
The following pages contain some beautiful strands of rare ancient Nila, coloured glass, stone and terra cotta beads from the Dogon and Gao areas of Mali. Although popularly known as 'Nila' ( the Arabic word for blue and Sanskrit for Indigo ) they display a beautiful translucent blue green colour when held up to a light source.
-Most of these beads arrived in Mali around 1000 years ago, via the ancient trade routes to Djenné .. from other areas of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Many have been buried beneath the Sahara Desert sands for centuries.
Fouille is the name Malian bead dealers use for similarly beautiful translucent beads which are probably of a similar age to the Nila, as they are found with them.
Its meaning in French is associated with Search and (Archaeological) Excavations.