These make GREAT halloweeny jewelry!
From what I understand, these beads are inspired by a Mexican celebration, El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). The purpose is to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed.
On this day in Mexico, the streets near cemeteries are filled with decorations including candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls).
It is believed the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31st and leave on November 2nd.
If you have first-hand knowledge of this celebration, I'd love to hear more about it. In the mean time, they are just fun beads!