These 30″ long mixed trade bead stands have a combination of chevron, king beads, stones, and other decorative clay and glass beads that have circulated between Europe and Africa for decades. No string is along and each has their own unique charm and esthetic.
Trade Beads are beads that have been used as a form of currency for the exchange of goods and services especially in West Africa. Some of the more common items that these beads were bartered for include ivory, gold, slaves, and other goods that were in demand by Europeans and colonial overlords.
The high demand for European beads in Africa can be attributed to the cultural value put by African peoples on decorative items. Jewelry items could add to the status of the owner and could be passed on to future generations as a symbol of wealth.