crystal beads wholesale

Bead Production and Use Has Been Found in Africa

"The most extensive evidence of early bead production and use has been found in Africa. The oldest beads that have been discovered on the continent are drilled ostrich egg shells from southern Africa that have been dated to the Middle Stone Age (280,000 to 45,000 years ago) and perforated shells from northern Africa that are 80,000 years old. In addition to ancient beads, prehistoric paintings of humans wearing elaborate beadwork adornments have been discovered on cave walls in Southern Africa and the Sahara Desert. Among the earliest items used for domestic and religious purposes and body adornment, beads are some of the first material signs of symbolic thought, an indicator of modern human behavior.. Although we have no way of knowing the full meaning of these ancient beads, we may conjecture that they were not only a means of adorning the human form but also an expression of social identity or religious practices."

Glass beads are thought by some to be a by-product of the discovery of glass making said to have occurred in Egypt some three thousand years ago. The Egyptians were probably the first to peddle glass beads to South Africa in exchange for gold, ivory and slaves.

Glass beads were valued because they were products of a technology unknown in Africa at the time. Beads became a precious commodity in their own right and became a symbol of the status of the people who crafted them into a variety of objects worn according to custom. They became tokens of social status and political importance.

Various stitches found throughout the world such as peyote and vertical netting are found in many African cultures, but perhaps the most distinct stitch found in Africa is the Ndebele stitch (also known as herringbone) named for the African tribe to whom its origin is attributed.

The Ndebele are a branch of the Zulu and like the Zulu, their beadwork and art are a visual form of communication. Each color, shape, how they are positioned, how the colors are arranged all carry a message.

Ndebele beadwork, often sold in the streets of Pretoria and Johannesburg, is well known. Certain beadwork is worn to distinguish a girl from her older sisters, denote engaged women, adorn brides and new mothers.

What makes Zulu beadwork unique is the way in which individual colors are combined in various ways and shapes to form messages. The craft of beadwork becomes an intricate communicational system expressing the feelings and facts related to the relationships between the genders.

Beadwork among the Zulu is at once, a craft, an art and a communication form similar to language written in symbols. Beadwork as an art form mingles with the fields of social relationships and the practice of law and the communication of ideas.

Bracelets are made with sparkling rhinestone beads and macrame cord. The cord is usually knotted between the beads using a macrame square knot, and the square knot is also used to create a sliding fastening to open and close your beautiful bracelet.

You don't need to stop at bracelets, you can use the same techniques and components to make a variety of sparkling, beautiful shamballa fashion jewellery.

Shamballa fashion gemstone beads come in many varieties. The highest quality ones are made from clay and use a good quality crystal such as Czech crystal. Beads are also higher quality if they have plenty of inset crystals, but sometimes you can save a few pennies by opting for beads with slightly less crystals set into the clay. Which you choose depends on whether you are a perfectionist jewellery seller or a beginner wanting to get to grips with the techniques.

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