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MOMBASA

4 traditional uses of seashells you should know

Nyamu Wa Mwombe
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Seashells [Source/pexels.com]

Seashells have been in use for ages. These skeletons were used as currency, spiritual objects and ornaments among other uses. 

Below are four uses that have been there since ancient times.

1. Spiritual objects

Hindus and Buddhists used the conch shell for religious purposes. Hindus used the left-turning conch shell during prayers. They also used conches as trumpets during religious rituals to eliminate negative energy. The white right-turning conch the eight Buddhist auspicious symbols. Additionally, the Christian St. James is associated with scallop shells.

2. Money

Cowry shells were used as a means of transaction. This item facilitated trade in ancient times for communities that lived near waters. The more cowry shells one had, the richer he or she was considered to be. Moreover, some tribes from West Africa used these shells for dowry.

3. Jewelry

Jewelry is among the maiden products of seashells. Israelites and North African dwellers made shell beads thousands of years ago. Bracelets and other decorations were also made from this sea gem. This made seashells a great beautification resource.

4. Domestic tools

Several ancient societies preferred shells over stones and bones. They modified the seashells into several items including corn scrappers. Some societies made them into hoes.

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-Nyamu Wa Mwombe

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