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Amazing History of Handmade Beaded Jewelry

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots said good old Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH, who Wikipedia describes as a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator.

That quote is just like saying for every Hercules, there is a Zeus because that’s where it all began for all conquering Hercules. No Zeus, No Hercules.

Don’t mind my poor attempt at Greek mythology. Whatever way, I am just trying to point out the fact that there is a history behind everything and beaded jewellery is no different.

You might feel that the history of handcrafted beaded jewelry cannot possibly be very interesting, but in fact, it is quite intriguing to learn where this part of culture began.

Some say that the beginnings of beaded jewelry began more than 70,000 years ago when man found the beads and gems and thought it was incredibly beautiful. Beaded jewelry has been used in many ways. One way is simply for beauty. Another is for value. In most part of Africa, beads were a means of trade, while it served as talisman to other communities.

Let us shortly look at how beaded jewelry was initially created.

In ancient times, men and women living in the Dark Age did not have any practical use for beads. However, in order to carry them around they began attaching these gemstones and beads to leather straps which they wore around, unconsciously creating the first handcrafted beaded jewelry.  Over time, handcrafted beaded jewelry started to become a status symbol. Those with power and wealth were the ones who had beaded jewelry.

Beads even have been used as an item of value for which trade could be made.

Handcrafted beaded jewelry used to be made and is still being made from many types of beads.  Local beads have been known to be made from glass, bone, porcelain, shells, paper, clay, metals, gemstones, ivory, and even wood. Bead craftsmen often held the trade secrets in confidence. They were expected to keep the bead-making skills a secret.  Some of them even risked themselves if they failed to keep the information to themselves. Mass production of beads didn’t even begin until the 1800s when glass beading became widely available. It was during this time that Swarovski created the process for making special beads which are still in high demand today. Even today, the secrets of how their beads are made are kept secret.

Worry beads, Filigree, and highly decorated ceramic beads originated in Greece, while Italy specialized in the Murano glass beads. There are dozens of other countries not yet discussed here, but beaded jewelry has a rich and vast history that is incredibly interesting. With the height of modernity and the fashion trend, there is still a rich cultural tradition with wearing beaded jewelry.

Check here to have a look at our handcrafted beaded jewelry. We are blending European modernity and African tradition to create a unique set of design for you and we hope you would love your bead.

Vondeeworld… we have got the best of handmade beads in the world!!!


This post was originally written by Stephanie White


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