A Look at the History of Bead

A Look at the History of Bead

Beads have been significant for many cultures for years. They’ve been used as money and worn as talismans and amulets to bring wisdom and fortune to the wearer. Found dating back 38,000 years, beads have been made from pebbles, shells, teeth, tagua beads, claws, clay, glass and more. Glass became an important material in beadmaking with its discovery, around 3400 years ago.

The word bead comes from the Anglo Saxon words bidden (to pray) and bede (prayer.) Prayer beads are known world-wide, and help the user recite prayers and keep track of the sequence and number of the prayers. Worry beads, also common around the world, help with decision-making, and keep the hands busy. Beads continue to be used as talismans to protect the wearer against evil, and as amulets to bring wisdom and fortune.

Adding beads to clothing can be found as far back as the Late Old Stone Age (the Upper Paleolithic). These beads were made from ivory and shell and added to clothing (of course they weren’t crafted as well as the beads we get in bead shops today). What we think of as beadwork, using small seed beads, is also quite old.

Glass beads, Seed beads, sometimes referred to as trade beads, played an important, if not somewhat of an ignominious role in the colonization of North America.  Columbus’ first trade with the people of the Americas was done with the use of red hats and string beading to gain the confidence and admiration of the indigenous people.

In the years following Columbus, the conquistadors set the pattern for trade with the use of trade beads. Along with the pots, pans and muskets, the bead became an indispensable part of the goods to be traded for items of greater value.

Throughout history, pearls have been a symbol of rich, welfare, happiness and dignity. Powerful feudal society representatives with pearl position, power, money and distinguished identity, a symbol of the civilian population to Pearl happiness, peace and good fortune. Back in the early stages of mankind, when the primitive along the coast and rivers were looking for food, they found these bead crafts. So far, they are still the most valuable human asset. Perhaps part of the reason is because pearls do not have direct competition that achieves its’ broad characteristics. So far, there is no other material more compelling than a pearl!

Modern jewelry and beading certainly benefits from the advances made in the production of beads, but there’s no doubt that even today, an individually handcrafted bead can be the star attraction of any beading piece. So far the beading and jewelry-making has become an extremely popular hobby or home business for many Artisans, they can be found at bead stores and bead online.

Please apologies for my poor english… This is a work in progress…. Thanks for your patience!

Posted on 12/10/2010 by Vanessa Fashion, Jewelry 0 990

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