This symmetrical necklace is made of beads carved from the horns of the sacred deer of Nara, Japan. The beads, of varying shapes and sizes, are a dark ivory color with carved circular geometric patterns. They are strung on a brown knotted cord with green jade beads interspersed. A club-shaped pendant at the center of the necklace unscrews and contains a tiny die. There are three carved globe beads (one directly above the main pendant) and four smaller pendant beads to match. All three round beads also unscrew and contain dice. In addition, there are ten horn rings with pale green jade beads in the center.
The deer (shika) in Nara are world famous. According to folklore, one of the four gods of the Kasuga Shrine appeared to followers riding a white deer; ever since then, Nara deer have been considered divine and sacred. Killing one of the Nara deer was punishable by death until 1637; they were stripped of their divine status and became designated National Treasures after World War II. Today, over 1,200 wild deer roam freely around the park in Nara. The Shika no Tsunokiri (Antler-Cutting Ceremony) has been held annually in Nara since 1671 to prevent the deer from hurting townspeople and one another. During the ceremony, a Shinto priest blesses the deer before their antlers are removed.