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The Fukas

Fukas (also Fuk-as and Fokash) are large rectangular or hourglass flat double spacers used on the heirloom strands (along with carnelian beads) by the Bontoc of northern Luzon, in the Philippines.

Fukas strung with carnelian on a finely sculpted wooden model, Bontoc Museum.

The snake bones are the duli.

Earlier writers usually called them shell. Bone, white agate and "white stone" have also been used to describe them. In fact, they are made of white marble from the lowlands just before coming into the mountainous region where the Bontoc and other people live (Czech glass imitations also exist). The Bontoc cut them themselves. I was told the last cutter died in Besao village around 1990.

As an heirloom, they are inherited at marriage. Those inherited from a grandmother are never sold. More on Bontoc and other heirloom beads can be found in Heirlooms of the Hills: Southeast Asia.


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