Historical information

These beads were made by Fred Walker, then of Wodonga, during the Depression. He created them to make additional income when work was scarce. They were sold for 3 shillings per necklace. The snakes he caught were boiled to separate the flesh from the bones. After saturating the market in Wodonga, Fred and a friend took to the road. At one stage they travelled with live snakes which had been de-fanged and kept them alive with frogs until more necklaces were needed. He travelled much of the east coast of Australia until the economic conditions improved, when he settled in Melbourne. After the death of his wife in the mid 1970s, Fred took to the road again, resurrecting the making of snake jewellery as he travelled the countryside. These beads were purchased by Mrs. Lilian Black of Kergunyah, Victoria when Fred Walker visited her family farm in the 1930s.


These beads demonstrate enterprising activities carried out by Australian people in order to survive during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Physical description

A necklace made from black beads and treated snake bones. There are 5 coloured beads in the middle of the necklace.