Monday, May 19, 2014

Bead Chest's African Trade Beads $30 Gift Certificate Giveaway

By on Monday, May 19, 2014 89 Comments

African trade beads have a long and sometimes ugly history.  They were used by Africans for adornment and as currency.  The ugly part comes with the use of "slave beads" as ships going to Africa were loaded with beads and other trade goods as ballast before exchanging these for human cargo on the outbound journeys.  Beads also played a fascinating and crucial role in the 19th century European exploration of Africa - see my historical biography on Richard Francis Burton and African Trade Beads (recommended read).

Mali wedding beads popular with the Fulani women of Mali for over 100 years

We also owe a debt to the wonderfully creative artisans from that continent for many inspirations and original beading stitches such as the Ndebele (herringbone) stitch.  Perhaps less known are the glass artisans who make glass beads using techniques which date back centuries.

The Bead Chest specializes in antique and vintage African trade beads as well as modern handmade ones, primarily from recycled glass. They work with developing communities throughout Africa to bring to the international market beautiful fair trade bead treasures. These are all sourced directly through year round travel to many African villages.  According to the manager, Adisa Kunte, they currently carry over 1,000 different types of beads, pendants and jewelry supplies from their African sources.

Early 1900's Czech made beads from Niger
Exploring this site is an education itself as we learn a great deal about the history of various types of beads that were made and/or worn by Africans. Their blog post explains the characteristics of authentic African trade beads compared to modern examples.  Did you know authentic trade beads are most often strung and not sold singly?

The irregularity of the beads is another indication of authenticity, besides faded colors and other signs of age.  This strand of vintage spindle whorl beads by the Drogon tribe in Mali was handmade with clay and individually inscribed.  Modern beads using machines would be completely symmetrical with even inscriptions.




The blue Sudanese Hebron Kano beads from the 1800's were made from the salts of the Dead Sea. They are another example of uneven bead sizes as each bead was shaped using a planed wooden stick. The color variation is also evident because of the manual dying process.  Iron and copper oxides from natural sources were used.  Hebron Kano beads are most often yellow.  The blue one below is rarer hence it's hefty price.

Blue Hebron Kano Beads

The loveliest collection in Bead Chest and one of the most affordable are the Krobo beads.  The people of Krobo Mountain in Ghana, West Africa, cleverly reproduced old Venetian trade bead styles.  They would crush recycled glass into powder, pour into molds and then heated to created drum shaped beads. They then decorated them using a paste made from colored glass powder and water and a thin wooden stalk. Firing a second time fixes the color.  The Bead Chest's blog post on how recycled glass beads were made has more details.



The African bone beads come from Ghana.  The bone beads are dyed using the same wax relief process as batik cloth.

African Batik Bone Beads from Ghana

Not all African trade beads were made in Africa. The colorful Mali Wedding beads shown at the top as well as the green vaseline and red snake beads were originally made in Bohemia/Czechoslovakia in the early 1900's and ended up in different parts of Africa.

Vaseline Beads from Ethiopia
Padre beads were another example of beads popular in Africa but were made elsewhere.  Despite the name, the beads were not made in Spain but in Southern China. They were exported to Africa  as well as to the Americas where Spanish missionaries and traders there also used them as a currency.


Old White Padre Beads from Ethiopia
Giveaway
If you'd like to win the $30 worth of African Trade beads from the Bead Chest to create your own awesome designs,  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog.  

Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank. 

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, May 26,  2014. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


Before You Go:
______________________________
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

Share

89 comments:

  1. Hi, Pearl, love the article on these beads. Thanks for posting all the different articles.

    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whoops! I made an error and have corrected the closing date to Monday, May 26.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely beads. I'm always amazed how many things different cultures can still have in common.... Beading being one.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. U education on African beads was wonderful and very informative. As a art history student, I really appreciated this information. Would luv to win this certificate. Thanks for all u wonderful blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the age and feeling of handmade African beads. Thanks for the wonderful article and promo.
    Nohline

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the variety of the beads and would love to have some. Jrgkuhn@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting article, ma'am!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am a blog follower (and big fan!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. And I follow you on facebook because I don't want to miss anything!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I use a lot of African beads and would LOVE to win the gift certificate. I'm already happy because now I know of a new place to find them. Thanks for information and the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I forgot to say, my email address is mitziec@verizon.net.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Haha, I must admit, until I saw your comment, Pearl, I was a bit confused when I got this exciting email (I'm a subscriber) and saw that the closing date for this competition had already passed!
    I particularly love the blue Sudanese Hebron Kano beads with their varied depth of colour.

    lauraproudman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. so fascinating to read about different kinds of trade beads used - so much history behind them

    ReplyDelete
  14. I follow you on GFC, facebook and twitter

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the fascinating article on these beautiful beads. And thanks for selling fair trade beads!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I subscribe via Bloglovin. Thanks for the hance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved the info on African trade beads. Would love to get my hands on some.
    febailes@shaw.ca

    ReplyDelete
  18. I shared this giveaway on Facebook. Thanks again!
    https://www.facebook.com/pk.solberg.1/posts/248990171974138

    ReplyDelete
  19. Always appreciate everything that you do for all of us. Your research interesting reads, enhance our learning with tutorials and bring us fun facts. Thank you, I wouldn't miss being a subscriber for the world!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a great article-I always love reading about different bead manufacturing processes. We have used African Trade Beads in several of my classes and we all love them!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love the heishi beads ! And the lapis lazuli beads ! I would love to win some of these.

    I am a blog subscriber.

    voltzia@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for a great and informative article on African Trade Beads. I follow you through email and on FB. Love all the informative information you share as I grow as a beader and jeweler. I would love to win this certificate and make some wonderful creations. My email add is carely07@yahoo.com Thank You for the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Pearl,
    Thanks for the chance to win. I'm an email subscriber & a FB fan. My email is cameronbarbara@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for sharing a great and informative article on African Trade Beads. I follow you by email and FB. I love to read your articles as they help me grow in my journey as a beader and jeweler. I would like to win this certificate and design some great projects using African Beads. Thank you for all that you do. My email add is carely07@yahoo.com.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Pearl, I love your history lessons and thanks for a chance to win some of these beautiful beads. Pat S

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great article....gorgeous beads! Thanks for sharing the history of these beads.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello !
    I am afollower , and I love these too ! So , I am trying my luck again ! Thank you !

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fascinating!!! Thanks Pearl. I would love to have some of those beauties.
    As always, a follower on twitter, blog, FB.
    Carol
    www.DesigningIt.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello Pearl, Thanks for another wonderful giveaway. I am a follower/subscriber and also shared this on FB and Pintrest.

    My contact info:
    marytown79@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Pearl,

    The beads are quite extraordinary. I'm fascinated by their checkered past - going from ballast for a terrible time in history to a way to promote the economy and to improve the well-being of the women who make them. Kudos to you for promoting them.

    Wayne Wiley

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi pearl

    I pinned your giveaway.

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/365987907190856866/

    zanc@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would like to enter this giveaway.
    There are so many of these beads that I have wanted.

    zanc@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am a happy follower of your blog.

    zanc@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for this great giveaway, the beads are gorgeous!

    I'm also a blog subscriber.

    susan at sandeno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I just love African art ,mixing with other types of crafts one can use these beads and create something new. Lovely,pretty and awsome beads. I wish to have them all.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would love to win some of these awesome beads. Thank you for always bringing new and interesting beads to our attention.
    Michelle davbrillc@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I found this article on the different beads very informative. Thank you for sharing & the chance to win some of these gorgeous beads.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am a follower of your blog and would love to win some more African beads.

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a truely interesting post on African beads. I love how you can always find all these interesting articles that would probably pass me by in the eather without being steared towards them. Thanks.
    Susan Samuel
    shw_samuel@sky.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. African Beads have been around since the dawn of time...Africans have always cherished beads and appreciated the beads total beauty and usage. The bead holds meaning to them as it tells a story of their history, heritage, homeland, and their struggles. Their artistry and attention to detail is simply amazing. The usage of color is stunning. I love Their designs and colors and I am honored to be apart of this giveaway...Thank you for this opportunity...
    Bye Now
    Jacqueline Marchant

    ReplyDelete
  41. Who wouldn't want to win some of these gorgeous beads. What a history these beads have. I am so glad that they are still made.-Patricia

    ReplyDelete
  42. My goodness Pearl - I had so much interesting stuff to read I almost forgot to leave a comment I got so caught up in everything!
    The history up trade beads is horrible and of course Hollywood has done a grave injustice to all of it! Slave trading ships could be smelt for miles due to the conditions onboard. Hollywood would have us believe that the slaves were shipped across the oceans in the holds leaning against the bulkheads. In fact the ships were built in 'floors' basically - and the slaves were shackled together hand and foot and then forced to lie down on their sides and crammed together as much as possible and then the next floor was set in on top of them. They were taken above occasionally to wash the feces off of them and to keep them healthy to ensure their selling status and to strike off the ones that had died and throw their bodies overboard.
    Most slavers expected a loss of 30 to 40% in transport and the stink could never be eradicated from the boards of the ship and they would eventually have to be burned. However enough profit had been made in the sale of human lives by that time that the loss of the ships was a mere drop in a bucket!

    Anyway - I got looking at the incredible beads offered by the Bead Chest! They are truly magnificent! Knowing the history behind them makes my heart ache - however now that they are also to help the women of Africa makes me smile!

    Thanks again for all you do on a daily basis Pearl. It is hard work to do so much research. And thank you for bringing this to our attention. It reminded immediately of the elephants (that's how my brain works I guess).

    Although I've never won a thing in my life you can still put my name in anyway - one can always play along for fun :-)


    Aims @ bigbluebarn@gmail.com


    ReplyDelete
  43. Greta Marullo gdmar@comcast.netMay 19, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    I would love to win some of these! You gotta love the rough element they add to a piece of jewelry. I am a blog follower.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would love a chance to win these and play with them. That would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Just tweeted about your giveaway.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/468472807181918208

    ReplyDelete
  46. Love these beads!! Thanks
    Marlene Strait
    mlsjewel@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow! Some of those beads are incredible! I would love the chance to win some.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am a follower of your blog thru GFC & Bloglovin.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I follow you on FB as Shaiha Williams

    ReplyDelete
  50. I shared on FB

    https://www.facebook.com/sShaiha/posts/10203711080647026

    ReplyDelete
  51. I tweeted the contest :)

    https://twitter.com/Shaiha_/status/468484694192185345

    ReplyDelete
  52. These beads are truly lovely & so different! What a great contest!

    I am a blog follower. mnludvik@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  53. Such lovely beads! Thanks for a great giveaway!

    Rileypark2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks for the opportunity to win! grinchswoman@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love the cultural and social heritage of these beautiful beads. They bring deep meaning to wearable art.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Pearl,

    Thanks for such an interesting article - and introducing such amazing products.

    Really appreciated the chance to win :)

    victoria _ farrell at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Gabrielle GauthierMay 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Liked and shared & following on Face Book and following it on pinterest. <3 it!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Another great giveaway- thanks, Pearl. I follow you by email,on Twitter and on Facebook-- Christie

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for sharing and all the sourcing that u used for this education. Would luv to win a gift certificate handstrung@me.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am loving the blue Sudanese beads. Wonderful!
    cmbmattos@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Love the Kano and bone beads-beautiful.

    mahanlori@plateautel.net

    ReplyDelete
  62. Subscriber and sharing this one.

    mahanlori@plateautel.net

    ReplyDelete
  63. I would LOVE to win these wonderful beads. Great article! Thank you for all the amazing articles and give-aways. Bright Blessings, Jeannine Bakriges
    spinningjenny57@hotmail.com
    www.thespiritualspider.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I would love to win these gorgeous beads. Interesting tidbits about the history of them.
    Thanks for the chance!!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I told the ladies in my bead group about the giveaway. They were excited too.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Very interesting. I'd love to win some.

    icbnett (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Once again your blog / newsletter is wonderfully informative. I have been fortunate to see African beads in several markets in Europe, and am always excited to see the irregularity of these handmade beads. Thanks for the explanation of the production process,and the "export" process, you are right that we should remember the suffering connected with this trade. I must add that of all the jewellery newsletters and blogs I follow, yours is the most serious, informative and non commercial. I love your choice of topics and the research you put into each blog. Keep up the good work, Judith jabraham@inter.net.il

    ReplyDelete
  68. Inoreader(RSS Feed) subscribe.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Oh, I could not resist entering! Love African trade beads, and I didn't know the story behind most of these types. Great post, Pearl, thanks for a very cool giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I would so love to win this! I adore African trade beads and use them whenever I can. mitziec@verizon.net. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Great article and pictures. I enjoyed the related articles as well

    ReplyDelete
  72. It`s so interesting to read about the beads and see all the different shapes and colors .
    would love to try and win the giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Beautiful beads, please count me in.
    I follow your lovely blog via email

    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  74. Joan Campbell joanie_99@hotmail.comMay 22, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    Lovely beads...would love to make something with them. great article!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Love, love, love african Trade beads.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hello Pearl
    Love the African Beads. Also thank you for the wonderful and informative articles and links :).
    jnaynay@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Pearl
    I am also a Blog follower. :)
    jnaynay@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Pearl
    I also follow you on Facebook :).
    jnaynay@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  79. Pearl,

    Love the different subjects that you present. Would love to win the chance to get some beads.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com,

    ReplyDelete
  80. Pearl,

    I follow your blog through BlogLovin.

    Thanks for offering this giveaway.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. The ethnic looking beads are terrific. I can imagination the wonderful designs that can be made! Roz_Who@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. We visit every AM . My day starts with all the wonderful creative ideas from u.
    Thanks for your blog.
    Virginiabroersma@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Awesome colors of these beads. I have one strand of African beads and I love them. Thanks for the chance to win more to create beautiful jewelrt

    ReplyDelete
  84. www.etsy.com/shop/trujewelJune 16, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I love the Bead Chest and recently ordered and received them and a necklace! There is more information about the beads, the culture, how they are made and that you are supporting their lives there with your purchase. Love the irregularities and uniqueness of each.

    ReplyDelete
  85. The beads are so beautiful!
    maureenr100@rohers.com

    ReplyDelete
  86. sorry, made a type-o, manopause brain fog:) my contact info is meant to be
    maureenr100@rogers.com

    ReplyDelete

 

TUTORIALS

PEARL'S DESIGNS

DESIGN MAKEOVER

TIPS AND TRICKS

SUPPLIES

TOOLS