|Beads, Beads, Beads ……………………..Hold a bead in your hand and feel its texture, gaze at a bead and see its beautiful colors and delicate patterns.
What’s so great about beads is that they are made from simple materials that have been around for centuries – clay, glass, metal, and stone.
The practice of treasuring and wearing beads began long, long ago. In ancient Egypt practically everyone wore beads on their clothes as well as jewelry. People wore beads not only for decoration, but because they believed that the beads had special powers to heal and protect them.
Beads often end up far from the places where they were made. In the past, a traveler often gave beads to his host as a gift. The host might keep the beads or give them to someone else. That’s how beads spread from one region to another. If beads could talk, what stories they could tell!
Beads were also used in place of money. Imagine a beadmaker in India or Venice, hundreds or even thousands of years ago, who earned his living by making beautiful glass beads in colors of brick red, corn yellow, and sea green. People in territories as far away as China and Africa fell in love with these beads and traded very special goods such as gold or pottery to get them. The Venetian whiteheart has been found in Africa, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. As you can see, beads really got around.