Jewelry boxes for women have been influenced by a number of cultures. The African one, for example has a huge history of jewelry that is worn both by men and women. There were, and are a wide range of materials that are used in the creation of African jewelry.
The people of Western Africa for example, used a lot of brass. For the people of Akan, gold was the material of choice. Copper too was used extensively in African jewelry.
There were some unique pieces of jewelry that were created. The ankle bracelets of the Senufo tribe are good specimens. These were designed to look like boats and were worn by men, women and children of all ages. However, being farmers, the men often found these bracelets a hindrance.
Women’s bracelets that had little bells on them were quite popular with the people of the Dan and the We tribes. These were decorative bells and used when people had to dance. The married women of Fulani had uniquely styled gold earrings. These were sticks of gold that were beaten into crescent-shaped designs.
African tribal jewelry for women today is quite extravagant especially when you look at those made by the Ashanti tribe. There are even feasts where jewelry is showcased as a highlight of the evening. On the death of the king, women wear loads of jewelry and perform ritualistic dances.
Ethiopia had Christianity introduced in the 4th century. A form of jewelry that evolved was the ornate cross that was placed on blue cotton cord called mateb. These are made of silver or nickel alloy.
Because of the vast natural resources available to the African jeweler, there were several nature-based materials that were made into jewelry. The coconut disc necklace was one such and quite popular in Nigeria and Guinea and were made from fragments of coconut. Today, finding complete necklaces of coconut are so difficult.
The Kenyan women were especially known for their love of bone based jewelry. Items like necklaces and chokers were made of a number of materials mixed together like animal bone, gold and silver. These were then interspersed with precious stones.
In Africa, wooden boxes for men were quite popular. One of the common African woods used in its making was the Bubinga. This is also known as the Guibourtia arnoldiana.
This wood is widely found in West African countries like Gabon and Angola. They are prized for their durability as well as the beauty they exude. They are completely resistant to wood eating insects thus making them the perfect case to hold valuables.
Sometimes wooden boxes made of other woods have their side panels made with Bubinga. African Mahogany is also used in the creation of valets for men. They are sometimes highlighted with Wenge accents and are designed to have pull-out drawers to store all kinds of male accessories.