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Mon, 05/23/2022 – 10:05

Stone beads from ancient Colombia are widespread in museum collections and are commonly found in archeological excavations. Many Indigenous Colombians wear bead necklaces; the Kaggaba people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta additionally use them for divination. 
A bead is dropped into a bowl of water, and the bubbles that rise to the surface can be interpreted (see video below). This practice, which may be extremely old, is a reminder that it is crucial to consult Indigenous knowledge when analyzing archeological materials; without such information, these divinatory tools would be reduced to their function as adornments.

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