Art Objects The use of ostrich eggs as water vessels dates back between fifty and one hundred thousand years. The shells are decorated with incised designs and carried in a fiber sling. The opening is plugged with a mixture of grass and beeswax.Traditionally, the collection bag shown here, as well as hide skirts and jewelry, were decorated with beads meticulously cut from ostrich eggshells. The shell is broken into small pieces and chipped into a disk shape using the teeth. An arrow is then used to drill the center hole in the bead.Leather bags, such as this one, are used to hold foods collected by gathering. They are often highly decorated with ostrich eggshell beads. These collection bags, from different regions of South Africa, feature prominantly in San myths. Among the San of Drakensberg, the trickster deity, called Kaggen, would transform from human to animal inside a bag.The San Bushmen use small leather bags to hold personal objects. They are often higly decorated with ostrich eggshell beads.This beautifully crafted young woman’s skirt is made entirely from ostrich eggshell beads. Such beaded skirts are rare and given as gifts at important events, such as when a young girl becomes a woman.These decorated leather armlets are examples of an earlier style of armlet, little worn or seen today.The tortoise shell, a natural vessle, is used by the San Bushmen to fashion a compact for containing a sweet smelling powder made from the charcoal of a fragrant wood or crushed flower petals. It is worn by women as an ornament on the arm. This compact is decorated with tassles strung with ostrich eggshell beads.This San Bushman tortoise shell compact is decorated with a colorful net of glass beads and features an applicator made of animal fur. This container would be filled with aromatic herbs and the fur used as a powder puff.The San Bushmen spend many hours fashioning handmade arrows and leather sheaths . On the tip of the arrow is a poisonous paste, found in the larvae of a beetle, which can bring down an elephant. When an animal is killed, the recognition goes to the maker of the arrow, rather than to the hunter.This decorative pendant is meticulously crafted from beads cut from ostrich eggshells which were chipped and rounded into beads, a process dating back thousands of years.This beaded hide features geometric patterns arising from the side effects of trance. The entopic designs experienced at the onset of trance have been reimagined into the beadwork.The beaded patterns on this woman’s hide skirt represent the entopic images a San Bushman sees when first entering trance. The designs are often described as patterns on snakes and believed to heal, protect, and harmonise the body with the environment and spirit world.The rattles worn in trance dancing are made from the dried cocoons of moth larvae. Small stones or fragments of ostrich eggshell are placed inside the cocoons. A long rattle has 80-90 cocoons strung together. The rattles are tied to the dancers legs, from the ankle to just below the knee. When trance dancing, the rattle makes a rhythmic sound which adds to the hypnotic power of the dance.