I’ve been incorporating cowrie shells and gold cuffs into my hairstyles lately. In my opinion, not only are the shells beautiful but they play a fascinating role in our history.

Did you know that cowrie shells are considered to represent womanhood and fertility because of their vulva shape? They are also viewed as symbols of healing, protection, the power of destiny, and wealth.

It’s said that many slaves carried the shells, onto the plantations of southeastern America, from the coast to remind them of their African lives and identity. Interestingly enough, European slave traders also bought slaves using cowrie shells as currency.

— Crystal Iman