Throughout Africa, yellow trade beads were both coveted and common to many regions. This mix of Chevrons, Millefiori* and solids reflects the wide assortment of designs and shapes of African Trade Beads. In Swahili, the word for “trade” is “biashara” and hundreds of years ago, these beads (or beads like them) were used to buy and sell goods in Africa...they were the money used in commerce and the colors and designs indicated monetary value. Today they are treasures of beauty. We were able to source a limited supply of Biashara and offer them in little muslin pouches of 16 grams each. No two are alike but we hope you’ll be pleased. Some beads are very old, some are made of shell but most are glass. We’ve done our best to populate each little muslin bag with a variety of what’s pictured. Use them in Stretch Therapy, Across Cultures or Tricks of the Trade, an original beadshop classic. And as they say in Swahili, we hope they make you “furaha”....happy!
Sold by the pouch.
*”Millefiori” is the Italian word for a “million flowers”. Venetian trade beads, made on the island of Murano off the coast of Italy, had amazing patterns created by canes of glass. Each glassmaker had his signature design, which was recognizable by other bead artists. Some of these canes created flower designs which were then added to long rods of glass beads. These flower canes are most recognizable today in glass paperweights, but they were also used in trade beads.