When I bought my bone set, I also bought an abalone shell to throw them from. This combination worked for me for about 5 minutes. My set quickly grew too large to fit in the shell comfortably. However, smaller sets can fit quite comfortably in an abalone shell and it can double as a tossing tool.
My next container was a wooden bowl with a lid. This container was large enough to grow with my set as it grew. I sometimes did readings by reaching into the bowl and grabbing just a handful of bones and the bowl was perfect for this as well. I also threw the whole set from it – just sprinkling them out from the bowl onto the cloth. Although I loved my bowl I had seen a bone reader who poured her bones out from a soft sided basket. They flowed out smoothly and distributed well and the basket had the advantage of being easier to fit into a bag or suitcase.
I started looking at baskets, but I wanted one with a cover. My dog is always on the lookout for bones left unattended, no matter how old or what species. Browsing eBay I came across an African basket that I thought would work well. It was tightly woven – bones may get caught in loosely woven baskets. It had a tight fitting cover – my dog can remove loose lids. It wasn’t soft, but I decided I liked the look enough to forgo that. It was a Kuba Basket. The only problem was that they cost a bit more, sometimes a lot more, than I was looking to spend. However, browsing on eBay is half the fun so I kept looking for a Kuba basket that was not too expensive. Eventually my diligence paid off and I purchased the basket that I am using to this day.
For most bone readers, my basket would be way more space than they need. It is a good fit for me because I have many larger shells. Kuba baskets also come in different sizes so you can get a smaller one, or a larger one. Mine also has a small, smoothly angled lip on the lid making it perfect for tossing the bones from. Many have a high, vertical lip, making it less suited for tossing, but still good for storage. If you would like to get one for yourself I recommend you search for a bit before purchasing one. Prices vary widely and can go into the hundreds of dollars.
For my travel set I have a small, square basket with a lid decorated with cowrie shells. It was very inexpensive and fits easily in my messenger bag. I think I paid $4.00 for it new. While the cowrie shells give it an African look, the shop owner said it was from Asia. These baskets also come in different sizes. I use this basket to toss my travel set, though I use the basket itself to toss rather than the lid, which is too small to hold the whole set. I sort of sprinkle the pieces from the basket onto the cloth.
Perhaps this post will give you some storage container ideas. I have seen bone sets stored in bags, on platters, in boxes, even in human skulls. I think that any container that appeals to you is fine. If you can use it to toss the bones as well, even better. I’d love to hear about, or better still see, your storage container. Just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org If I get enough I will do a post featuring them.