Weights used in braiding to exert force on the center (point of braiding). Japanese tama are generally 100gr, while US tama are usually 70gr. The weight of the tama is not as critical as the relationship between the total tama weight and the center-weight; the interaction of the two determine the length of the stitches in a braid and thus the density of the braid.
Recently, a line of tama was developed to better handle beaded braids. These tama have a deeper, broader profile to allow for larger-diameter elements