Early Chinese Faience and Glass Beads and Pendants, by Simon Kwan; translated by Jeffrey A. Keller
The earliest Chinese beads and pendants were composed of faience and appeared during the early Western Zhou period, around the 11th
Century B.C. True glass began to be made about the time of the Spring and Autumn period (771-467 B.C.). An amazing variety of
beautiful "dragonfly-eye beads" appeared in China during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), but these were imported and not
local products. The complex eye beads were replaced during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) by small, plain glass beads generally
intended to be strung together. Perforated glass ear spools were also popular during this period and were sometimes adorned with bead
strands. Small glass stringing beads as well as other forms continued in use in subsequent dynasties, as did various types of pendants.
During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), glass was used to produce beautiful imitation jade objects including fanciful compound pendants.
These were often finely carved and exhibit a high level of craftsmanship.
Chinese Bead Curtains, Past and Present, by Valerie Hector
Relatively little is known about how beads were combined to form larger structures in China. To address this situation, this paper
focuses on Chinese bead curtains. Adopting an approach that is broad rather than deep and empirical rather than theoretical, it
collates evidence from the textual, material, oral, and pictorial records to consider bead curtains from various perspectives. To
begin, this study defines bead curtains as textiles, door and window ornaments, screens, and types of beadwork. It then discusses
bead curtains of the imperial era (221 B.C.-A.D. 1911) as they are referenced in the Chinese textual record from the 4th century on.
A discussion of bead curtains of the post-imperial era (1912-present) follows, offering a small database of 20th- and 21st-centuries
examples composed of organic and inorganic bead materials. While contemporary, commercially-produced Chinese bead curtains are
mentioned in passing, they are not the focus of this article. Nor are bead-embellished valances addressed. As further research is
undertaken, it should be possible to refine or revise the information offered here.
Beads from the Hudson's Bay Company's Principal Depot, York Factory, Manitoba, Canada, by Karlis Karklins and Gary F. Adams
There is no other North American fur trade establishment whose longevity and historical significance can rival that of York Factory.
Located in northern Manitoba, Canada, at the base of Hudson Bay, it was the Hudson's Bay Company's principal Bay-side trading post and
depot for over 250 years. The existing site of York Factory is the last of a series of three posts, the first of which was erected in
1684. Completed in 1792, York Factory III functioned as the principal depot and administrative center for the great Northern
Department until the 1860s when its importance began to wane. It then entered a long period of decline which ended in 1957, when the
post was finally closed. Subsequent archaeological work at the site has revealed many structural features and associated artifacts
including a large and varied assemblage of beads, mostly glass, which are the subject of this report.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 25:Zhongguo gudai zhuzi (Chinese Ancient Beads), by Zhu Xiaoli, reviewed by
Valerie Hector • Journal: Borneo International Beads Conference 2013, edited by Heidi Munan and
Kay Margaret Lyons, reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of
Glass, by Adrienne V. Gennett, reviewed by Gretchen Dunn. •
Beads 24 (2012)
In Memoriam: Roderick Sprague, 1933-2012, by Karlis Karklins
An archaeologist, educator, and a pioneer in North American trade bead research, Dr. Roderick Sprague passed away in Moscow, Idaho,
on 20 August 2012. A staunch supporter of the Society of Bead Researchers, he served as its president from 2004 to 2007, and chaired
the Editorial Advisory Committee for a good number of years as well. He also contributed a number of useful articles, news items, and
reviews to both the Society's publications. His moral support and the useful comments and suggestions he made concerning these
publications will be sorely missed.
Heirloom Blue-Glass Melon Beads of the Tani Tribes, Northeast India, by Barbie Campbell Cole
The Tani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in India's remote northeast wear various heirloom necklaces including those composed of highly
distinctive melon-shaped beads of wound turquoise-blue glass. These are unique to central Arunachal and were already of considerable
age and very highly prized in the early 19th century. The Tanis believe their beads were made by a mythical ancestor in Tibet, but
their bubbly opaque blue glass and wound method of production suggest a Chinese origin. The beads have local names which appear to
link them to Tsari, one of Tibet's most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For centuries, the hostile animist Tanis were bought
off by the Tibetan government with ornaments and other gifts in return for not robbing the Tsari pilgrims. This article seeks to
determine if the Tani melon beads were part of this Tsari "barbarian tribute," as well as where and when they were made, and why
they were traded into this region of Northeast India and not elsewhere.
Chemical Composition of 16th- to 18th-Century Glass Beads Excavated in Paris, by Laure Dussubieux and Bernard Gratuze
Dating from the 16th to 18th centuries, 63 glass artifacts (mostly beads) recovered from two sites in Paris, France, were
investigated using chemical analysis in an attempt to determine their place of origin. The late-16th-century material from the
Jardins du Carrousel consisted of small, monochrome drawn beads with a soda-lime composition. Attributed to the 17th and 18th
centuries, the beads recovered at the adjacent site of the Cours Napoléon were more diverse in shape, color, and composition.
Although provenance attribution was difficult due to a lack of comparative data, it was possible to identify an increasing variety
of glass recipes after the 16th century that revealed a growing interest in glass beads in Europe. In the 17th century and
afterwards, greater numbers of glass- and glass-bead production centers were active, quite certainly due to a growing demand for
export goods but also due to a more extensive use of beads in France.
A Classification System for Glass Beads for the Use of Field Archaeologists, by Kenneth E. Kidd and Martha Ann Kidd
As a result of examination of numerous collections of glass beads in northeastern North America and elsewhere, and as a result of a
study of the procedures used in their manufacture, the authors propose a classification and nomenclature which they hope will permit
exact descriptions and a reference base for all beads found in archaeological excavations. New bead types may be added to the system
which is expansible to accommodate all possible variations.
Guide to the Description and Classification of Glass Beads Found in the Americas, by Karlis Karklins
This guide provides information relevant to the description and classification of glass beads recovered from archaeological sites in
North and South America and the Caribbean. It is partly based on and intended to be used with "A Classification System for Glass
Beads for the Use of Field Archaeologists," by Kenneth and Martha Kidd. Material presented includes a critical evaluation of several
bead classification schemes, an overview of bead manufacturing techniques, a descriptive listing of the various classes and types of
beads that have been recorded to date, and an explication of the physical attributes of a bead, as well as interpretative material
concerning dating and likely origins.
A Wampum-Inlaid Musket from the 1690 Phips' Shipwreck, by Charles Bradley and Karlis Karklins
In August of 1690, a fleet of ships under the command of Sir William Phips set sail from Boston to attack Quebec City during the
second year of King William's War. The campaign failed and, as the fleet retreated, a number of vessels were wrecked in the St.
Lawrence during a violent storm. The remains of one of these was discovered by a diver in a cove at l'Anse aux Bouleaux, Quebec,
in 1994. Believed to be the Elizabeth and Mary, the wreck yielded numerous artifacts, including a wide array of weaponry. Among the
long arms was a musket whose stock was decorated on either side with two crosses created by inserting wampum into holes drilled into
the wood. Likely the property of a Praying Indian, this unique weapon is described in detail and comparisons made to other
contemporary Native American objects decorated in a similar manner.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 24:The History of Beads: From 100,000 B.C. to the Present, Revised and Expanded
Edition, by Lois Sherr Dubin, and The Worldwide History of Beads, by Lois Sherr Dubin, reviewed by Margret Carey
• Phoenix Rising: Narratives in Nyonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements, by Hwei-Fe'n Cheah,
reviewed by Alice Scherer • Journal: Borneo International Beads Conference 2010, Heidi Munan and
Freya Martin (eds.), reviewed by Jean Nicholls • Journal: Borneo International Beads Conference
2011, Heidi Munan and Freya Martin (eds.), reviewed by Marjorie Bernbaum •
African Dolls/Afrikanische Puppen: The Dulger-Collection, by Frank Jolles, reviewed by Marilee Wood
• Cherished Curiosity: The Souvenir Beaded Bag in Historic Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Art, by Gerry
Biron, reviewed by Richard Green • Munsell Bead Color Book, by Munsell Color, reviewed by Margret
Carey • Beads from Briare, by Floor Kaspers, reviewed by Stefany Tomalin and Deborah Zinn.
Beads 23 (2011)
Beads From Gablonz, by Waltraud Neuwirth; translated by Ann Dubsky
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Gablonz in northern Bohemia (now Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic) was a major producer and
supplier of glass and ceramic beads to the world market. This production center created beads of myriad forms, using all the major
manufacturing methods. This detailed study provides a thorough overview of the various methods including patent details as well as
information concerning bead names, shapes, coloring, decoration, sizing, stringing, and historic prices. The text is accompanied by
numerous illustrations of the beads under discussion and the tools and apparatuses used to make, size, and string them. There is also a
well-illustrated section on the pre-1913 sample cards of two major Gablonz companies, the Redlhammer Brothers and the Mahla Brothers.
Beads 22 (2010)
Bauxite Mining and Bead Production in Ghana, by John Haigh
Abompe is the current bauxite beadmaking site in Ghana and the hills of the Kwahu Plateau above the village are pocked with hundreds,
perhaps thousands, of pits dug in search of the raw material. To determine the age of the beadmaking industry in the region, people in
Abompe and other villages were interviewed and related stories that suggest the first beadmakers were following the example of people in
or around Bepong, a village on the plateau above Abompe. Three areas of bauxite pits on the Kwahu Plateau were investigated to see if
there was physical evidence of ancient mining; those currently used by Abompe people and those previously dug by Bepong and Adasowase
people. Four boulders with polished upper surfaces were found in the Abompe mining area and are believed to represent large-scale bead
polishing. Caves where miners occasionally stay overnight were explored and evidence of bead production in the form of chipping waste
was found. Pit counts by transect at Odumparara Bepo, the Abompe mining area, suggest the presence of possibly as many as 4,700 pits.
These appear to have been created in the past 100 years.
Sixteenth-Century Glass Beads from Chotuna, North Coast of Peru, by Christopher B. Donnan and Jill
Burials excavated on the north coast of Peru were associated with 16th-century European glass beads as well as shell and stone specimens
of local manufacture. The beads were strung as necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, often combining several varieties of European beads
with local products. The glass beads as well as the other grave goods suggest that the burials date to the first part of the 16th century,
probably between 1530 and 1560.
Lucayan Beads from San Salvador, Bahamas (ca. A.D. 900-1500), by Jeffrey P. Blick, Richard Kim, and
Tyler G. Hill
A variety of Lucayan shell, stone, and coral beads as well as beadmaking waste was recovered from several sites on San Salvador, Bahamas.
Following detailed analysis, comparisons to other beadmaking sites in the Greater Caribbean region indicate that fabrication, material,
color preference, and even general forms are similar across great distances from the Maya region to the Greater and Lesser Antilles and
the Bahamian Archipelago. In some cases, beads appear to have been made at the household level (Middle Pre-Classic Maya, Post Saladoid
Lucayans), although certain stratified societies (later Maya, Classic Taíno) seem to have exerted more control or monopoly over bead
manufacturing at various times. The beads were predominately white and red in color. Color symbolism suggests that white (or shiny)
beads were more preferred and associated with peace, the "celestial complex," gold and silver, the sun and moon, and elite status. Red
seems to have been associated with war, the agricultural complex, blood and fertility, the soil and earth, and lower social status.
Appreciation of these Lucayan beads includes their beauty, simplicity, symbolism, and the laborious nature of their fabrication, it
taking some two months to produce a single strand of a few hundred beads for a single wearer.
The Beads That Did Not Buy Manhattan Island, by Peter Francis, Jr.
The purchase of Manhattan Island is an unrecorded event dressed in mystery and myth. An examination of the myth and of its history
corrects misconceptions that are nearly as ancient as the purchase.
Venetian Glass Beads and the Slave Trade from Liverpool, 1750-1800, by Saul Guerrero
The competition within the slave trade during the 18th century forced slave traders to search for an assortment of barter cargo that
would attract the preferential attention of the African suppliers of slaves. An enterprising group of Liverpool slave traders that
formed William Davenport & Co. rose to the occasion and in three years became the supplier of half of all the glass beads re-exported to
Africa from England. An analysis of barter values in Bonny, West Africa, reveals that glass beads were one of the main categories of
trade goods of great interest to the African slave traders. The trade beads were primarily the products of Venice where the glass bead
sector grew from at least 7% to over 70% in value of total Venetian glass exports from the late 16th to the late 18th century. While the
sale of glassware in Venice slumped due to competition from other European producers, the bead industry prospered and manufactured tens
of millions of units of conterie and perle a lume beads per year during the second half of the 18th century.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 22:Ukrainski narodni prykrasy z biseru (Ukrainian Folk Beaded Adornments),
by Olena Fedorchuk (2007), reviewed by Maria M. Rypan.
Beads 21 (2009)
Twenty Years of The Bead Forum: Newsletter of the Society of Bead Researchers (1982-2002),
compiled by Karlis Karklins
The Bead Forum: Newsletter of the Society of Bead Researchers was initiated in 1982 by Peter Francis, Jr., to facilitate
communication between bead researchers. Over the years it has provided news about the society, announcements of relevant exhibitions,
conferences, and recent publications, requests for information, memorials, and short articles and news items on various aspects of bead
research. The two latter contain much useful information that is, unfortunately, not readily available to many researchers who do not
own the set or have forgotten what is in the earlier issues. Furthermore, few libraries and museums have full sets in their collections.
To resolve this situation, a broad selection of the articles and other items that appeared in the first forty issues are reprinted in
this volume of Beads where they will be readily available in a more permanent format. While some of the material is dated, it is
nevertheless interesting from a historical research perspective. Obsolete contact information has been deleted from some items and
updated information has been added to others. To see what is included in the compilation of forty issues worth of articles from
The Bead Forum (June 1982 through April 2002), please click here.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 21:African Beads: Jewels of a Continent, by Evelyn Simak and Carl
Dreibelbis (2010), reviewed by Ato Hansemo Hamela.
Beads 20 (2008)
Heirloom Beads of the Kachin and Naga, by Barbie Campbell Cole
The heirloom beads of the Kachin and Naga - known respectively as khaji and deo moni - were discussed at length in British-colonial
literature, but remained unidentified until the present day. The homelands of the Kachin and Naga straddle the northern Burma/Northeast
India frontier. Safe from the great civilizations which rose and fell in the plains, the cultures of these hill peoples remained
relatively intact until the arrival of the colonial British in the 1830s. The author's research reveals that khaji and deo moni are
orange Indo-Pacific beads of a type traded from southeast India - probably Karaikadu - between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200. They were found by
the Kachin and Naga in ancient graves. The trade that brought these beads to the region operated at a considerable scale. Ivory and
fragrant oils destined for the Mediterranean world were exchanged for Indo-Pacific beads, cowries, chank shells, and carnelian beads,
ornaments still worn by the Kachin and Naga today.
Beads from the Great White Arabia - A Mid-19th-Century American Steamboat, by
Karlis Karklins and David Henneberg
Loaded with 200 tons of goods heading for Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa, the steamboat Great White Arabia hit
a snag and sank near Kansas City in 1856. In 1989, a group of salvors excavated the wreck and recovered almost the entire cargo which was
in a remarkable state of preservation. Among the finds were several million glass embroidery beads, as well as several hundred blown
specimens in various shapes, sizes, and colors, some of which formed the heads of fancy stickpins. Due to their fragility, blown beads
are seldom found in archaeological contexts so the Arabia specimens are especially significant and comprise the largest collection of
such beads found at a North American site. Coming from a tightly dated context, the beads reveal exactly what was being brought to a
specific area of the American frontier in the mid-1850s. They also provide information concerning the different techniques used to
Glass Beads from the Belbek IV Cemetery, Southwestern Crimea, by Ekaterina Stolyarova
Situated in the southwestern region of the Crimea, the Belbek IV cemetery was utilized for much of the first three centuries of the
common era. A comparison of the morphological and technological characteristics of a select sample of the recovered glass beads has
provided clues concerning their origins; the majority of the beads seem to have been manufactured in accordance with Syrian glassmaking
traditions, a quarter belong to the Egyptian school of glassblowing, while just a little over one per cent were manufactured in Roman
workshops. Judging from their burial contexts, it appears that beads in Late Scythian costume were used as buttons, amulets, and pendants,
as well as in the preparation of necklaces and embroidery.
Red-on-White Drawn or Cornelian Beads: A 19th-Century Temporal Marker for the Plains, by William T.
The red-on-white drawn glass bead is an under-used 19th-century temporal marker for cultural objects and archaeological assemblages from
Native American and fur trade sites in the Plains region of the United States. This bead variety is referred to as "cornelian" in Plains
fur trade records, but is also known by several additional names in other places including cornaline d'Aleppo, cornaline,
and corniola. By examining bead sample cards, historical references, fur trade ledgers, beaded cultural objects in museums, and
beads from archaeological assemblages, it was determined that this bead variety first appears in the latter part of the 1830s in Plains
ethnology and archaeological collections. Plains fur trade ledgers first refer to cornelian beads in 1837, and are common therein by the
mid-1840s. These multiple lines of evidence provide a chronology for drawn red-on-white beads that is relevant for both the Plains and
The Venetian Bead Story, by Peter Francis, Jr.
With the possible exception of the Egyptian and Syrian beadmakers of Roman times, no glass bead producers have had as much influence on
their contemporaries as those of Venice. Venetian beads have been sent all over the world and have for the last several centuries
dominated the trade and tastes in the commodity. These beautiful products of Venice come in an amazing diversity of styles. It has been
estimated that well over 100,000 different Venetian bead varieties have been produced and each year the numbers grow, for Venetian
artisans are constantly turning out new kinds of beads for their customers. This article summarizes the history of the Venetian bead
industry and also discusses its diverse products.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 20:The Beads of St. Catherines Island, by Elliot H. Blair, Lorann
S.A. Pendleton, and Peter Francis, Jr. (2009), reviewed by Rochelle A. Marrinan • Zulu Beadwork: Talk with
Beads, by Hlengiwe Dube (2009), reviewed by Carol Kaufmann • Straits Chinese Beadwork and
Embroidery: A Collector's Guide, by Ho Wing Meng (2003), reviewed by Hwei-Fe'n Cheah • Chinese
Sewing Baskets, by Betty-Lou Mukerji (2007), reviewed by Ghislaine Jackson • Middle Eastern and
Venetian Glass Beads: Eighth to Twentieth Centuries, by Augusto Panini (2007), reviewed by Karlis Karklins. •
BEADS 19 (2007)
In Memoriam: Mary Elizabeth Good, 1930-2007, by Marvin T. Smith
Bead researcher Mary Elizabeth Good died December 18, 2007. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, she was 77 years old. Mary Elizabeth was
well-known and respected as an early researcher of trade beads in North America. Her first publication, "Guebert Site: An 18th century
Historic Kaskaskia Indian Village in Randolph County, Illinois" (1972), is considered a classic in bead studies. Mary Elizabeth was
active in the Society of Bead Researchers, serving as Chair of the Publications Committee from 1989 to 1993, and as President of the
Society from 1994 to 1996. The bead community has lost an important member.
World War I Turkish Prisoner-of-War Beadwork, by Jane A. Kimball
Drawing on the rich tradition of textile crafts in the Ottoman Empire, Turkish soldiers incarcerated in British prison camps in the
Middle East during and immediately after World War I made a variety of beadwork items to relieve the boredom of their prolonged
imprisonment and to barter or sell for food and other amenities. Best known are the bead crochet snakes and lizards, but the prisoners
also used loomed and netting techniques to produce necklaces, belts, purses, and other small items.
Eighteenth-Century Glass Beads from the English Slaving Fort at Bunce Island, Sierra Leone, by Karlis
While countless tons of European glass beads flowed into West Africa over the centuries, there is still relatively little information concerning
what specific nations were importing over time. It was therefore of great interest to learn about two collections of beads surface
collected at the site of a British slaving fort that operated on Bunce Island in the Sierra Leone estuary of coastal Sierra Leone from
the late 17th to the early 19th century. Although it is impossible to assign the beads to a specific period in the fort's history, it is
clear that they are of 18th-century origin and were part of the goods traded by the British. The present study describes the small but
diverse collection of beads and places them in historical context.
An Archaeological Approach to Understanding the Meaning of Beads Using the Example of Korean National
Treasure 634, A Bead from a 5th/6th-Century Royal Silla Tomb, by James W. Lankton and Marjorie Bernbaum
An ancient bead is a document from the past—a message in a bottle—written in some lost symbolic language. Archaeologists try to
understand that language by integrating scientific and technological approaches with the social, economic, political, and symbolic/
religious context in which the bead was found. As an example, we use Korean National Treasure 634 (NT634), a dark blue glass bead adorned
with mosaic decorations of a bird, a flowering tree, and a human face, found in a 5th-6th century Korean tomb. This bead suggests its
meaning by how and where it was made, and what its images may represent.
Western Indian (Mewar) Chalcolithic Beads with Special Reference to Balathal,
by Alok Kumar Kanungo, Virendra Nath Misra, and Vasant Shinde
During the last few years, Indian archaeologists have concentrated their efforts on the investigation of sites of the 3rd to 2nd
millennia B.C. in the Mewar region of western India. Unfortunately, most of the excavations have been focused on understanding the
cultural sequence, settlement patterns, architecture, and pottery at the sites and have neglected the study of such important artifact
categories as beads. As no final reports have been published and the excavations have been carried out by different agencies,
reconstructing the bead culture of this area is very difficult. We know quite a bit about the beads of the urban Harappans but know
practically nothing about those used by the contemporary rural Chalcolithic people. This paper discusses the beads recovered from a
number of Chalcolithic sites, with emphasis on the oldest village in India—Balathal.
Chemical Composition of Late 18th- and 19th-Century Glass Beads from Western North America: Clues to
Sourcing Beads, by Laurie E. Burgess and Laure Dussubieux
The Sullivans Island glass bead collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History contains over 56,000 beads which date
from the late 18th to the late 19th century. Excavated in the 1930s from a site on the Columbia River in the Plateau region of North
America, this collection contains examples of most known bead varieties for this time period. Many of the beads conform to varieties
that have been attributed to Bohemia, Venice, and China-three of the main bead-producing centers for this time period. One hundred and
twenty-four beads were subjected to Laser-Ablation Inductively-Coupled Mass-Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analysis at the Smithsonian's
Materials Conservation Institute to see if the chemical composition of the glass could be correlated with a place of origin. The results
revealed several distinct compositional groups, some of which could be linked to geographical areas.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 19:International Bead & Beadwork Conference, Jamey D. Allen and
Valerie Hector (eds.) (2007), reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Navajo Beadwork: Architectures of Light,
by Ellen K. Moore (2003), reviewed by Kate C. Duncan • Made of Thunder, Made of Glass: American Indian
Beadwork of the Northeast, by Gerry Biron (2006), reviewed by Dolores Elliott • Lubāna ezera
mitrāja Neolīta dzintars (Neolithic Amber of Lake Lubāns Wetlands), by Ilze B. Loze (2008), reviewed by Aleksandar Palavestra
• The Bead Goes On, by Koos van Brakel (2006), reviewed by Karlis Karklins. •
BEADS 18 (2006)
Classification and Nomenclature of Beads and Pendants, by Horace C. Beck
The year 2006 marks the 80th anniversary of the presentation of a "Classification and Nomenclature of Beads and Pendants" by Horace C.
Beck to the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1926. It was subsequently published in the society's journal Archaeologia in 1928
(vol. 77, pp. 1-76). While it is somewhat out of date, it nevertheless remains a classic in its field and is still the only comprehensive
work that deals with the classification of beads of complex shapes and forms. Seeing the value of this work, George Shumway reprinted it
in 1973. This edition is now out of print. As Beck's report remains a valuable research tool for bead researchers, the Society of Bead
Researchers decided to reprint it so it would again be available to bead scholars around the world. The version presented here replicates
the original 1928 version with the addition of an addendum that presents corrections and additions made to the manuscript by Beck up to
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 18:The Art of Beadwork: Historic Inspiration, Contemporary Design, by
Valerie Hector (2005), reviewed by Alice Scherer • Beads of Borneo, by Heidi Munan (2005), reviewed by
BEADS 17 (2005)
Necklaces Used in the Santería of Cuba, by Lourdes S. Domínguez; translated by Jayson Rubio
This article examines the necklaces used in the Afro-Cuban Rule of Orisha, more commonly known as Santería. This religion, created by
African slaves brought to Cuba starting in the 16th century, combines aspects of Yoruba orisha worship and Spanish Catholicism. It
allowed African religious beliefs and practices to survive despite the imposition of Catholic doctrine. One of the outcomes of this
amalgamation is the practice of associating individual orishas (deities) with certain Catholic saints. Each orisha is represented by
specific necklaces that incorporate particular bead forms, colors, and numbers.
Die Perle: A 1920s German Trade Journal, by Anita von Kahler Gumpert and Karlis Karklins
Though short lived, the German trade journal, Die Perle, contains a wealth of information concerning the European bead and jewelry
industry of the 1920s. Short articles provide insight into new machinery and apparatus for producing beads, natural and artificial
materials for the production of beads and other ornaments, fashion trends, market reports, and numerous other topics. As well, there are
several departments which deal with specific themes such as technical questions and sources of supplies. As the journals are in German,
English summaries are provided for a representative sample of the articles to give the reader an idea of their vast scope.
Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Manufacture of Drawn Glass Tubing for Glass Beads, by Lester A. Ross
Late 19th- and early 20th-century archaeological sites often contain machine-made drawn glass beads with unique shapes and perforations.
Little information exists documenting when these beads were initially manufactured. Through an examination of hundreds of U.S. patents,
it appears that the mechanized production of drawn beads could have occurred as early as the late 19th-century, but more likely, they
were not mass produced until the end of World War I, after the invention of the Danner process for mechanically drawing glass tubing.
Machine-made drawn beads with multiple sides and/or shaped perforations also appear to have been produced by the late-19th century, but
again, mass production probably did not occur until around the end of World War I.
Elemental Analyses of North American Glass Trade Beads, by R.G.V. Hancock
Although European-made glass trade beads can be sorted into bead varieties and studied in that manner on the basis of physical attributes,
much more information can be obtained about them by means of chemical analysis. Such analyses produce chemical fingerprints that may be
compared and grouped. Bead varieties that have matching chemistries were made using the same ingredients that probably came from the same
sources, suggesting that they were made in a specific manufacturing center and probably during the same approximate time period. Using
this information may help to establish with which European nationals specific indigenous people were dealing and may perhaps even link
archaeologically recovered beads to the European beadmaking houses from whence they came.
Thirteen-Hundred-Year-Old Bead Adornments from Baar, Canton Zug, Switzerland, by Katharina Müller;
translated by Sandy Hämmerle
In the year 2000, an Early Medieval (7th-century) cemetery containing more than 200 burials with rich grave goods was discovered in Baar,
Canton Zug, Switzerland. Thanks to the painstaking methods used in the excavation and recording of the 2,985 glass, amber, coral, and
amethyst beads found with the female burials, it was possible to reconstruct the necklaces and sewn-on appliqués they were part of.
Comparisons with mosaic depictions of famous women—such as the Empress Theodora in San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy—suggest that
the people of Baar imitated southern Alpine Byzantine bead jewelry fashion.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 17:Ornaments from the Past: Bead Studies after Beck, Ian C. Glover ,
Helen Hughes Brock, and Julian Henderson (eds.) (2003), reviewed by Joan Eppen. •
BEADS 16 (2004)
Precious Red Coral: Markets and Meanings by Susan J. Torntore
Beads and other ornamental items made of precious red coral have been utilized by various cultures worldwide for thousands of years.
Depending on its properties and market context, this highly valued material has meant different things to different peoples through time.
The current industry—based in Torre del Greco in southern Italy—reflects past traditions but also incorporates new ideas into the
production of beads and jewelry for the three principal world markets: fashion, ethnic, and tourist. These reflect the historic trade and
use of red coral beads in several West African, European, and American cultural settings. This article describes the Torrese coral
industry, revealing how the different beads are manufactured and marketed, and also delves into the cultural significance of precious
coral over time.
Bead Making at Murano and Venice, by B. Harvey Carroll, Jr. with Jamey D. Allen
"Bead Making at Murano and Venice," by B. Harvey Carroll, Jr., is a rare eyewitness account of beadmaking in and around Venice, Italy,
towards the end of the First World War and documents the technology of the time as well as what impact the war had on the industry.
Carroll's report takes us through the various steps in the production of drawn or tube beads and also provides a historical perspective
of the industry. Although the report presents much useful information, we now know much more about most aspects of glass beadmaking and
endnotes provide much additional information and clarification.
The Levin Catalogue of Mid-19th-Century Beads, by Karlis Karklins
The Levin Catalogue is composed of two similar collections of glass and stone beads assembled by Moses Lewin Levin, a London bead merchant
whose business operated from 1830 to 1913. A total of 621 beads of 128 different varieties makes up the collections which can be dated to
the period 1851-1869. Although the beads are recorded as having been used in the African trade, several have counterparts at North American
sites, thereby making the catalogue a potentially valuable research tool for those involved in the study of North American trade beads as
Incised Dentalium Shell Beads in the Plateau Culture Area, by Roderick Sprague
Whole dentalium and segments of dentalium shell have been used as beads in the Northwest Coast and interior Plateau culture areas both
prehistorically and ethnographically. Incised whole shells, and no more than five known examples of incised segments, have been recovered
from the Plateau, limited to archaeological contexts. A review of the reported incising clearly shows the use of design elements typical
of the Plateau Culture Area as often also used on bone, antler, wood, and historic copper in addition to dentalium. The Asotin site
(45-AS-9), one of the few well-dated Plateau burial sites with incised beads indicates that this phenomena has a broad and, as yet,
poorly defined chronological occurrence, largely from the protohistoric to the early historic.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 16:Gem and Ornamental Materials of Organic Origin, by Maggie Campbell
Pedersen (2004), reviewed by Stefany Tomalin • World on a String: Parts One, Two, and Three,
by Diana Friedberg and Lionel Friedberg (2004-2005), reviewed by Lois Rose Rose • Beads of Life: Eastern and
Southern African Beadwork from Canadian Collections, by Marie-Louise Labelle (2005), reviewed by Margret Carey. •
BEADS 15 (2003)
Two Centuries of Iroquois Beadwork, by Dolores N. Elliott
To the 16th-century Iroquois living in what is now central New York state, European glass trade beads were something special; they were
believed to have had magical and spiritual meaning. To this day, the Iroquois have a special relationship with glass beads. Iroquois
artists began creating three-dimensional beaded items in the late 18th century. The first beaded pincushions and wall pockets were small,
but they increased in size and quantity during the 19th century. Two centers of beadwork making arose: one around Niagara Falls in
western New York and southern Ontario, and the other around Montreal in southern Quebec and the adjoining parts of eastern Ontario and
northern New York. By the end of the 19th century, large brightly colored pincushions, wall hangings, purses, and other items were made
for an active tourist market. Recently these art forms have become highly collectable by individuals and museums. Over 60 forms of
beadwork were developed. As in the 19th and 20th centuries, many Haudenosaunee artists continue to create colorful beadwork in the 21st
Beads in the Straits Settlements: Trade and Domestic Demand, 1827-1937, by Hwei-Fe'n Cheah
Beads have long been a part of the exchange of goods in Southeast. Indo-Pacific beads were traded in Southeast Asia and colored
beads from China were exchanged for spices and forest products from the Indonesian archipelago. The Straits Settlements, comprising the
ports of Singapore, Malacca, and Penang, was formed in 1826, to consolidate the trading position of the British in Southeast Asia.
Singapore, in particular, developed into a major entrepot of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Research by the late Peter Francis, Jr.,
drew attention to its role as a channel for a part of the Southeast Asian bead trade. This article extends his research by plumbing the
rich statistical records of the Straits Settlements to examine the changing role of the Straits Settlements from a bead emporium to a
consumer of beads, with Singapore acting as a distribution center for a growing domestic demand for beads.
Bohemian Faceted-Spheroidal Mold-Pressed Glass Bead Attributes: Hypothesized Terminus Post
Quem Dates for the 19th Century, by Lester A. Ross
Faceted-spheroidal mold-pressed beads have been manufactured in Bohemia since the 18th century. Evolution of manufacturing technology has
resulted in the creation of bead attributes that can readily be observed on beads from archaeological contexts. Many North American
archaeological sites contain examples of this bead type; but few reports have identified the attributes, much less recognized these beads
as mold-pressed. Enough evidence now exists to suggest that some of these attributes have temporal significance for dating archaeological
bead assemblages. Terminus post quem dates for faceted-spheroidal mold-pressed bead attributes are hypothesized, and a strategy for
future research is suggested so that a more precise temporal sequence can be constructed.
Birds, Beasts, and Botanicals: Organic Beads and Pendants from the Amazon Basin, by Deborah G.
The people of the Amazon Basin have an incredible array of organic materials available to them, which they use to make beads and pendants.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has extensive recent collections from the Amazon Basin, with hundreds
of necklaces, belts, aprons, and ear and arm ornaments which contain beads made from organic materials. These collections are used to
illustrate a variety of the beads and their materials.
Early Upper Paleolithic Ornaments from Üçaǧizli Cave, Turkey, by Mary C. Stiner and Steven
Beads and similar ornaments appear early in the archaeological record associated with modern humans (Homo sapiens), first in Africa and
somewhat later in Eurasia. They are thought to be among the first indicators of human use of symbols. This paper discusses criteria used
to distinguish early mollusk-shell beads from other kinds of shells in archaeological deposits, focusing on evidence from the site of
Üçaǧizli Cave in Turkey. Upper Paleolithic beadmakers at this and other sites clearly preferred certain forms of shell for ornamental
purposes, although the reasons for that selectivity remain obscure.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 15:Beadwork: A World Guide, by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass (2002),
reviewed by Margret Carey • A Bead Timeline. Volume I: Prehistory to 1200 CE, by James W.
Lankton (2003), reviewed by Marilee Wood • Amber in Archaeology, Curt W. Beck, Ilze B. Loze, and
Joan M. Todd (eds.) (2003), reviewed by Karlis Karklins. •
BEADS 14 (2002)
In Memoriam: Peter Francis, Jr., 1945-2002, by Karlis Karklins
The bead research community lost a principal member when Peter Francis, Jr., director of the Center for Bead Research in Lake Placid, New
York, died December 8, 2002, while on a research trip to Ghana, West Africa. Pete was widely known and respected, and was responsible for
significantly increasing people's awareness—on a worldwide scale—of beads and their place in human culture through his many
publications, lectures, workshops, symposia, and internet website. He leaves a void that will be very hard, if not impossible, to fill.
Beadwork of Hungary and Transylvania, by Robin Atkins
Beading is a cultural necessity in some rural villages of Hungary and Transylvania, where peasants have used embroidery and beads to lavishly
embellish their costumes for hundreds of years. Remaining little changed over several centuries and almost oblivious to beads and
beadwork in the rest of the world, the peasants of these villages have slowly evolved their own style of beadwork from thread embroidery
and other embellishing methods. Based on field research, this article explores the cultural traditions, rich designs, and techniques of
beadwork in four Hungarian villages—three in Transylvania (Romania) and one in southern Hungary.
Brief Biography of Giovanni Giacomuzzi: Artist and Glassmaker, by Vincenzo Zanetti; translated by Lucy Segatti
Giovanni Giacomuzzi (1817-1872) was the driving force behind the celebrated 19th-century Venetian beadmaking and glassworking firm of
Fratelli Giacomuzzi fu Angelo, one of whose bead sample books is described in the accompanying report. This tribute by a learned
contemporary summarizes Giacomuzzi's accomplishments and sheds light on the life of a much-honored master glassworker.
The Giacomuzzi Bead Sample Book and Folders, by Karlis Karklins
The sample book described herein displays the wound glass beads produced during the third quarter of the 19th century by an acclaimed
Venetian firm, that of the Giacomuzzi brothers. The book vividly shows what sorts of beads were being marketed by a single firm at this
time, and provides much useful information concerning bead sizing systems. Although not marked with the producers name, the folders that
accompany the book are of like date and at least one is likely a product of the Giacomuzzis.
Late Neolithic Amber Beads and Pendants from the Lake Lubans Wetlands, Latvia, by Ilze Biruta Loze
In Late Neolithic Europe, amber beads and pendants were initially mainly made in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea, due to the presence
of amber washed up by the Litorina Sea. There were four principal localized zones of Neolithic amber artifacts in this region: the
eastern Baltic, the mouth of the Vistula River, Jutland and Skone, and Fennoscandinavia. The British Isles are regarded as a fifth zone.
As the popular-scientific literature has so far provided scant information on the amber-working zone of the eastern Baltic, this article
summarizes the findings revealed by extensive archaeological research, particularly during the past forty years.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 14:Amulets and Pendants in Ancient Maharashtra, by Jyotsna Maurya (2000),
reviewed by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer • South East African Beadwork, 1850-1910: From Adornment to Artefact
to Art, by Michael Stevenson and Michael Graham-Stewart (2000), reviewed by Margret Carey • Ancient
Glass in the Israel Museum: Beads and Other Small Objects, by Maud Spaer et al. (2001), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr.
• Asia's Maritime Bead Trade: 300 B.C. to the Present, by Peter Francis, Jr. (2002), reviewed by
James W. Lankton • Ethnographic Beadwork: Aspects of Manufacture, Use and Conservation,
Margot M. Wright (ed.) (2001), reviewed by Alice Scherer. •
BEADS 12-13 (2000-01)
Annamese Orders: Precious Metal, Tassels, and Beads, by John Sylvester, Jr.
Over the centuries, beads have been used for myriad purposes but a seemingly unique application is their use as components of several
types of Annamese orders. Now known as Vietnam, the State of Annam issued a number of civil awards during the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Four of these—khahn, boi, tien, and bai—were made of precious materials and incorporated bead strands and tassels in their
composition. The khanh was reinstated as the second-ranking civil order of the Republic of Vietnam in 1957.
Stone Beads and Sealstones from the Mycenaean Tholos Tomb at Nichoria, Greece, by Nancy C. Wilkie
Stone beads and engraved sealstones are among the most common grave goods that accompany Mycenaean burials. At Nichoria in the
southwestern Peloponnese of Greece, a tholos tomb, presumably the burial place of the local elite at the site, had been plundered more
than once in antiquity before being investigated by archaeologists. Nonetheless, it produced numerous stone beads of rock crystal,
amethyst, carnelian, agate, and "steatite." Eleven sealstones, most of which were heirlooms when placed in the tomb, were also found
among the disturbed burial offerings.
Identifying Sources of Prehistoric Turquoise in North America: Problems and Implications for
Interpreting Social Organization, by Frances Joan Mathien
Well-made turquoise beads are rare in North American archaeological sites, and the prehistoric sources of turquoise are limited. Mining
the turquoise, manufacturing the bead, and using it as part of a bracelet or necklace involve numerous human interactions to transport
the raw material from its source to the place where it is finally found in an archaeological context. Accurate identification of
turquoise sources affects our interpretation of prehistoric behavior and is the focus of this paper.
Man-in-the-Moon Beads, by Michele Lorenzini and Karlis Karklins
The unique and memorable design of man-in-the-moon beads has intrigued researchers over the years. These distinctive beads were
identified in the 1960s by George Quimby as being chronologically diagnostic of Middle Historic Period sites (1670-1760) in the western
Great Lakes region. The present study more clearly defines both the temporal and geographical instances of man-in-the-moon beads while
taking into account possible cultural and historical implications. This project has led to the compilation of information regarding many
specimens previously unknown to most researchers.
The Stone Bead Industry of Southern India, by Peter Francis, Jr.
Although previously unrecognized, South India was once home to a major stone-beadmaking industry. At its zenith in the early centuries
A.D., it exported beads eastward to other parts of Asia and westward to the Roman Empire. South Indian gems were of such importance to
the Roman West that the region deserves the title of "Treasure Chest of the Ancient World." Research has identified the probable sources
of nearly all the raw materials used, the lapidary centers, and the trade routes over which the finished beads would have traveled.
Additionally, it has revealed that the principal participants in the industry were the Pandukal people, opening a new chapter on the
widening understanding of this community.
The Krobo and Bodom, by Kirk Stanfield
Certain relatively large beads, almost always found in Ghana, have come to be called "bodom" by bead traders, collectors, and researchers.
Most students of this bead believe it is the product of the Krobo powder-glass industry proliferating today in southeastern Ghana. Upon
closer inspection, however, there appear to be two distinct groups of bodom that we may, for convenience, call "old" and "new." While the
new bodom are definitely made in Ghana today, using techniques that have been observed and documented, the old bodom are substantially
different in enough ways to suggest that they were made elsewhere by other methods. This study examines the origins and methods of
manufacture of bodom and tests the hypothesis that the Krobo made old bodom.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 12-13:Indian Beads: Cultural and Technological Study, by Shantaram
Bhalchandra Deo (2000), reviewed by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer • Beads, Body, and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba
Universe, by Henry J. Drewal and John Mason (1998), reviewed by Margret Carey • Flights of Fancy:
An Introduction to Iroquois Beadwork, by Dolores N. Elliott (2001), reviewed by Karlis Karklins.
BEADS 10-11 (1998-99)
Dressed to Kill: Jade Beads and Pendants in the Maya Lowlands, by David M. Pendergast
Jade was a material of paramount importance in ancient Maya life owing to its symbolic significance. The meanings of jade's color lent to
the stone, and to those adorned with objects fashioned from it, an unmistakable aura of power. As a result, jade objects figure very
prominently in the archaeological record, and their forms and contexts bespeak their ancient meanings. The tracing of the shapes, carving,
production techniques, and use history of jades underscores the role of jade in Maya belief, political economy, and personal
Stone Beads and their Imitations, by Robert K. Liu
Simulations of precious-stone beads began to be made as soon as feasible materials became available. From antiquity onward, we have
replicas of stone beads made of glazed stone, faience, and other ceramics, and glass. In contemporary times, glass and plastic have
become the predominant substitutes for stone beads, although materials of organic origin, such as bone and tusk, have also been used.
Information is presented on the background, materials, and techniques for detecting such simulations, using primarily visual clues
provided by macro color photographs.
Melanau Bead Culture: A Vanishing World?, by Heidi Munan
Settled on the South China Sea coast of Sarawak, the Melanau comprise an aristocratic society which used to have a strong bead culture,
tied to animist religion. Developments in the 19th and 20th centuries have influenced the traditional way of life so that today, only a
few Melanau still keep a significant number of beads. Nevertheless, shamen and healers, adherents to the old religion, continue to use
beads in healing and purification ceremonies. Bereaved families protect themselves by wearing special beads, and by providing the deceased
with beads according to his or her status in the traditional hierarchy. Specific kinds of beads are also prominent in traditional marriage
ceremonies. Beads continue to adorn blouses and to serve as personal ornaments. Handicrafts embellished with glass seed beads are also
produced, but mostly for the souvenir market.
A History of Gem Beadmaking in Idar-Oberstein, by Si Frazier, Ann Frazier, and Glenn Lehrer
Located at the southwestern edge of Germany, Idar-Oberstein is the historic stone-cutting center of Europe. The origins of the industry
go back at least 500 years. The industry was originally based on local deposits of agate, jasper, rock crystal, and amethyst but
beginning in the 19th century, all kinds of rough gemstones began to be imported from around the world. The industry grew very rapidly
from the middle of the 19th century. A great deal of this success was based on the manufacture of agate beads ("African money") for
export to Africa and the Middle East. This article not only discusses the history of the industry, but also provides in-depth information
concerning the techniques and tools used in beadmaking and drilling.
A Brief History of Drills and Drilling, by A. John Gwinnett and Leonard Gorelick
A microscopic examination of silicone impressions of the perforations of beads, sealstones, and amulets has produced a data base of
characteristics that help to define what type of drill was used to make them. This article outlines the various types of drills that
have been used from the Palaeolithic period to the present day, and notes what microscopic features characterize each one. Scanning
electron micrographs illustrate the minute details that are revealed by the silicone impressions.
Venetian Beads, by Frank Hird
Interesting accounts of the manufacture of Venetian glass beads turn up in the most unlikely places. The one reproduced here was
published in The Girl's Own Paper for February 1, 1896 (Vol. 17, No. 840, pp. 292-294). In addition to presenting a decent description of
the manufacture of drawn and blown beads during the latter part of the 19th century, Mr. Hird gives us details concerning the setting in
which the beadmakers and bead stringers worked. Paint peels from the ceilings of the rooms where women make blown beads, and half-dressed
men sweat in the heat from the glass furnaces. It brings the scene to life, something most other accounts fail to do. As the photographs
that illustrate Hind's article lack captions, these have been added by the editor.
Progress and Problems in Recent Trade Bead Research, by Richard G. Conn
Thirty years have passed since the late Richard G. Conn presented this paper at the conference of the Canadian Archaeological Association
in Winnipeg, March 8-9, 1968. It is presented here to show us how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 10-11:Beads and Bead Makers: Gender, Material Culture, and Meaning,
Lidia D. Sciama and Joanne B. Eicher (eds.) (1998), reviewed by Carole Morris • Glasperlen Christbaumschmuck/Glass
Bead Christmas Tree Ornaments, by Waltraud Neuwirth (1995), reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Perlern:
Archaologie, Techniken, Analysen, Uta von Freeden and Alfried Wieczorek (eds.) (1997), reviewed by Frank Siegmund •
Das awarenzeitliche Graberfeld von Halimba. Das Awarische Corpus. Beihefte V, by Gyula Török (1998), reviewed by Katalin
Szilagyi • Little Chief's Gatherings, by James A. Hanson (1996), reviewed by Karlis Karklins. •
BEADS 8-9 (1996-97)
Beads Among the Juang of India, by Alok Kumar Kanungo
The Juang comprise a major primitive community in the state of Orissa in east-central India. Until relatively recently, they had a rich
material culture. In particular, their dress and ornaments were very important to them. Today, only very old women wear beads and other
ornaments in the traditional way, except on special occasions. This paper seeks to reconstruct the traditional costume of the Juang, with
emphasis on the beads, and notes the changes it has undergone over the past 130 years. The findings are based on a survey of the
ethnohistoric literature combined with active participant fieldwork in 1995 and 1997, among the Juang of the Keonjhar District in
general and of Gonasika village in particular.
Akyem Te: The Technology and Socio-Cultural Setting of the Abompe Bauxite-Beadmaking Industry, Ghana, by Yaw Bredwa-Mensah
Drawing primarily on data obtained from recent research at Akyem Abompe, Ghana, this paper examines the technology and socio-cultural
setting of a stone-beadmaking industry in the forest zone of Ghana. Preliminary ethnographic observation of the industry not only reveals
that it is community-based, but that it also interacts in a complex way with other local crafts in the village. The production process
and marketing of the beads are discussed, as is the antiquity of the industry.
Imitation Pearls in France, by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
To achieve the perfect imitation pearl has been the goal of numerous European beadmakers for over 700 years. In France, the art of making
false-pearls spread rapidly after Jacquin discovered how to fill hollow glass beads with a pearl-like substance in the 17th century.
Since that time, many diverse recipes have been tried and used to satisfy the French public's enormous appetite for affordable, yet
elegant, imitations of fine pearls. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, these types of beads became even more popular than before, as
they emerged as the principal components of costume jewelry worn by celebrated stage personalities.
A Hoard of Stone Beads near Lake Chad, Nigeria, by Graham Connah
In 1980, a small pot containing 622 carnelian and quartz beads was found accidentally at Ala, in the Nigerian part of the clay plain
south of Lake Chad. It appears to constitute a hoard of wealth which its owner buried and subsequently failed to retrieve. Beads of this
sort first appear in this area in the second half of the first millennium A.D., but also occur in second-millennium deposits. However,
they are usually found as grave goods, and the Ala discovery is almost the only example of a hoard of such beads known to the author.
Their presence on the stoneless Chadian plain indicates the development of trading contacts with other areas, but neither the source of
the raw materials nor the place of manufacture of the beads is known. The quartz could have come from the Cameroon Mountains but the
origin of the carnelian, often assumed to be from India, remains problematic. More attention needs to be paid to the possibility of West
African sources and production, but there is also an urgent necessity both to compile a corpus of firmly dated material and to conduct
characterization studies that could throw more light on the origin of the carnelian.
Beads, Pendants and Buttons from Early Historic Creek Contexts at the Tarver Sites, Georgia, by Thomas J. Pluckhahn
Recent excavations conducted on historic Creek Indian components at the Tarver (9JO6) and Little Tarver (9JO198) sites in central Georgia
produced an extensive collection of European trade material, including a large sample of glass and lapidary beads, pendants and buttons.
The bead collection is significant for its size, as well as the fact that virtually all of the material was recovered from undisturbed
and tightly dated burial contexts attributable to the relatively brief period between about 1695 and 1715.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 8-9:Manik-Manik di Indonesia/Beads in Indonesia, by Sumarah Adhyatman
and Redjeki Arifin (1993), reviewed by Heidi Munan • Catalogue of the Beck Collection of Beads in the
Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: Part 1, Europe, by The Bead Study Trust (1997), reviewed by Jamey D.
Allen • The Ghanaian Bead Tradition: Materials, Traditional Techniques, Archaeological and
Historical Chronology, Bead Usage, Traditional-Sociological Meaning, •by M.L. Kumekpor, Yaw Bredwa-Mensah, and J.E.J.M.
van Landewijk (1995), reviewed by Margret Carey • Les Perles: Aufil du textile, by Natacha Wolters (1996),
reviewed by Marie-José Opper.
BEADS 7 (1995)
Prosperity, Reverence and Protection: An Introduction to Asian Beadwork, by Valerie Hector
Fascinating and diverse beadworking traditions have flourished in Asia for more than 1000 years, with the preponderance of surviving
specimens dating to the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on a lecture presented at the Third International Bead Conference in Washington,
D.C., in 1995, this article introduces Asian beadwork as a fruitful topic of inquiry for bead specialists. Representative examples
produced in the last millennium by various cultures in South Asia, mainland and island Southeast Asia and East Asia are shown and
discussed. Although they certainly testify to the material wealth of their makers, in many cases these pieces also carry spiritual
implications. As the study of Asian beadwork is still in its infancy, it is hoped that this article will inspire others to conduct
further research on the subject.
Merovingian Beads on the Lower Rhine, by Frank Siegmund; translated by C.J. Bridger
This paper presents a classification for beads of the Merovingian period (ca. A.D. 450-750) in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. Strings
of beads recovered from graves are ordered by a seriation (correspondence analysis) which results in an ethnic (Roman vs. Frankish) and
chronological structuring of the material. By comparing this with the chronological scheme established for the other archaeological finds,
it becomes evident that the favored types of beads changed about every two generations. Besides changes in distinctive types, a
development in general color preference is also observed.
Social Status Gradations Expressed in the Beadwork Patterns of Sarawak's Orang Ulu, by Heidi Munan
The peoples of Central Borneo, known collectively as the Orang Ulu, used to display social stratification by restricting the types of
ornaments an individual might use and wear. "High-ranking" motifs were the human figure, the hornbill, and the tiger or leopard. The
Orang Ulu are bead connoisseurs who incorporated seed beadwork in their costume and belongings; a person could only make use of beaded
items proper to his or her social stratum. Religious and social changes have democratized these once strictly aristocratic societies and
their handicrafts. Today's beadworker produces not only for her own family but for the souvenir market, so she feels free to apply any
designs which please the buyer.
The Beads of Tenth- to Twelfth-Century Hungary, by Katalin Szilágyi; translated by Don Haines
An examination of the beads recovered from three Hungarian cemeteries in use during the 10th-12th centuries resulted in the
identification of 61 distinct bead types. Seven of these were found to be significant on the basis of frequency analysis, and represent
the beads most used by the local population. The study is enhanced by comparative material from a number of other contemporary
archaeological sites in and around the country. The classification system developed for this study is applicable to other geographical
areas and time periods, and may be expanded or otherwise modified to suit the needs of other researchers.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 7:Trade Beads and the Conquest of Mexico, by Isabel Kelly (1992), reviewed
by Jeffrey M. Mitchem • The PANTONE Book of Color, by Leatrice Eiseman and Lawrence Herbert (1990),
reviewed by Karlis Karklins • PANTONE Textile Color Guide - Paper Edition, by Pantone, Inc. (1992),
reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Glass Beads: Cultural History, Technology, Experiment and Analogy,
Marianne Rasmussen, Ulla Lund Hansen, and Ulf Näsman (eds.) (1995), reviewed by Frank Siegmund • Glass
Beads from Europe, by Sibylle Jargstorf (1995), reviewed by Jamey D. Allen. •
BEADS 6 (1994)
Beads from the African Burial Ground, New York City: A Preliminary Assessment, by Cheryl J. LaRoche
Excavation of the African Burial Ground in New York City yielded the skeletal remains of more than 400 individuals. This paper is a
preliminary discussion of beads associated with seven of the burials. The in situ bead configurations of three of the interments are
distinctive and appear to be indicative of cultural practices of Africans in 18th-century New York. The configurations include necklaces
and possibly wristlets, as well as waistbands. The latter represent the first recorded instance of such use by Africans or African
descendants in North America. These objects provide insight into the religious or ritual behavior of the people who utilized the burial
European Beads from Spanish-Colonial Lamanai and Tipu, Belize, by Marvin T. Smith, Elizabeth Graham, and David M. Pendergast
Excavation of the contact-period components of the Maya sites of Lamanai and Tipu, in northern and west-central Belize, respectively,
have yielded moderate collections of European glass and other beads. The archaeological data are augmented by ethnohistorical
documentation regarding the length of Maya/Spanish interaction. Contexts do not provide unequivocal stratigraphic evidence of sequential
bead importation, but known dates of bead varieties assist in refining both site chronology and the understanding of bead use. As the
first Central American collections to be analyzed, the two assemblages offer an initial glimpse of one aspect of European impact on
native material and non-material culture.
A Possible Beadmaker's Kit from North America's Lake Superior Copper District, by Susan R. Martin
Beads of copper are amongst the oldest and most widespread ornament forms known in North America. Native copper was an important
material used by prehistoric Americans, and certainly the most important metal. It was collected, transported and traded over wide areas
from as early as seven thousand years before present, and its for ornaments persisted until it was gradually replaced by European metals
over the many years of the contact period. A recently discovered cache of copper beads, bead preforms, awls, a crescent knife and scraps
of raw copper at site 20KE20 in northern Michigan offers insight into the process of copper-bead production in fifth century North
Toward a Social History of Beadmakers, by Peter Francis, Jr.
An understanding of beads requires an understanding of the people involved with them. This paper examines three historical aspects of
people engaged in beadmaking, especially the production of glass beads. The history of their social relations is considered in regards to
the record of their physical movements, the manner in which they organize themselves and pass on their traditions, and their status
within society. Information concerning each of these is arranged geographically and chronologically in an attempt to discern the patterns
of the social history of beadmakers.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 6:Perlen aus Gablonz: Historismus, Jugendstil/Beads from Gablonz: Historicism, Art
Nouveau, by Waltraud Neuwirth (1994), reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Speaking with Beads: Zulu Arts from
Southern Africa, by Jean Morris and Eleanor Preston-Whyte (1994), reviewed by Marilee Wood • Collectible
Beads: A Universal Aesthetic, by Robert K. Liu (1995), reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Perles d'Afrique,
by Marie-Françoise Delarozière (1994), reviewed by Marie-José Opper • Indian Trade Goods, by the
Oregon Archaeological Society (1993), reviewed by Cloyd Sorensen, Jr. • Glass, Glass Beads and Glassmakers in
Northern India, by Jan Kock and Torben Sode (1995), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr.
BEADS 5 (1993)
In Memoriam: Kenneth E. Kidd, 1906-1994, by Jamie Hunter and Karlis Karklins
Pioneer bead researcher Kenneth Earl Kidd passed away peacefully in Peterborough, Ontario, on 26 February 1994, at the age of 87. This
memorial reviews his distinguished career and provides an extensive list of his publications.
Gold-Glass Beads: A Review of the Evidence, by Maud Spaer
The study of gold-glass beads was given a considerable boost in the 1970s by Weinberg's report on their manufacture in Hellenistic Rhodes
and by Alekseeva's and Boon's studies on finds from southern Russia and Britain, respectively. Nothing comparable has been published in
the intervening years, but scattered new information has appeared. This paper aims to survey and review the available data on
manufacturing technique, style, provenience and chronology. An attempt is also made to fit gold-glass beads into the general framework of
glass history. The main focus is on the finds of the Mediterranean and related regions in pre-Islamic times. Note is taken of the
continuation of the use of gold-glass beads in Medieval Europe. Conclusions drawn are usually only tentative—
if not hypothetical—as sufficiently well-documented source material is scarce.
The A Speo Method of Heat Rounding Drawn Glass Beads and its Archaeological Manifestations, by Karlis Karklins
From at least the early 17th century to the latter part of the 18th century, drawn glass beads over about 4 mm in diameter were generally
rounded in European glasshouses using a method called a speo by the Italians who apparently invented it. The little-known process
involved mounting a number of tube segments on the tines of a multi-pronged iron implement which was then inserted in a furnace and
turned until the tubes were rounded to the desired degree. Beads produced in this manner often exhibit distinctive characteristics and
are easily identified in archaeological collections.
Powdered-Glass Beads and Bead Trade in Mauritania, by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
Artisans in Kiffa and several other towns in southern Mauritania have produced a unique kind of powdered-glass bead for several
generations. Commonly called "Kiffa beads," they generally copy the designs and forms of ancient beads, as well as more recent European
examples. This article discusses their history, manufacture and relevance in Mauritanian culture. While production of the beads recently
ceased for a time, several women have again begun to make them though the new varieties are not as inspiring as their predecessors.
Lun Bawang Beads, by Heidi Munan
The Lun Bawang and related peoples of east Sarawak, west Sabah and Brunei have a long tradition of using beads for personal ornamentation
and as value objects. They share in the general Borneo bead heritage, but follow their own tastes and fashions. Some Lun Bawang have
started reproducing their favorite opaque beads from clay to sell as well as to wear on informal occasions. This new cottage industry
brings a satisfactory income to the beadmakers, and helps to preserve their heirloom property.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 5:Beads of the World: A Collector's Guide with Price Reference, by
Peter Francis, Jr. (1994), reviewed by Stefany Tomalin • Beads from the West African Trade Series, Vol. VII,
by John Picard and Ruth Picard (1993), reviewed by Marvin T. Smith • Lewis C. Wilson on Glass Bead
Making (video) •and Lewis C. Wilson on Lampworking: Advanced Beads, Bracelets, Marbles (video), by Crystal Myths,
Inc. (1993, 1994), reviewed by Karlis Karklins • Baubles, Buttons and Beads: The Heritage of
Bohemia, by Sibylle Jargstorf (1993), reviewed by Anita von Kahler Gumpert • Beads of the Bison
Robe Trade: The Fort Union Trading Post Collection, Steven Leroy DeVore (1992), reviewed by Timothy K. Perttula.
BEADS 4 (1992)
The Beads of Cameroon, by Pierre Harter, translated by Howard Opper
Glass beads have long played an important role in the art and culture of Cameroon, a country situated on the east side of the Gulf of
Guinea in West Central Africa. This article reviews the different kinds of drawn and wound glass beads that have found broad acceptance
in west-central Cameroon and discusses their diverse applications. Beads of other materials, as well as cowries and buttons, are also
The Beads of Roman and Post-Medieval Antwerpen, Belgium, by Karlis Karklins and Tony Oost
Excavations conducted at several sites in Antwerpen, a principal city and seaport on the Schelde River in northern Belgium, have
uncovered a small but significant collection of glass beads. These range from a decorated specimen of the Roman period to tubular
square- and star-sectioned beads of the 16th-17th centuries. The Post-Medieval specimens, found in the cesspits of merchants' homes,
give us an idea of what Antwerpen was exporting during the early part of this period.
Beads in the Lives of the Peoples of Southern Togo, West Africa,
by Pascale Nourisson, translated by Pierre Nadon
Beads are objects of infinite diversity among the Mina-Guen of southern Togo. They accompany the people in all the material and spiritual
aspects of their existence. However, while the beads serve such varied functions as ornaments, currency and emblems of wealth and
prestige, they find their principal use in voodoo.
On the Date of the Copper Age in the United States, by A. Morlot
During the mid-19th century, some scholars believed that the chevron beads found in early Indian graves had been brought to North
America by globe-trotting Phoenicians or representatives of some other higher European civilization. A paper on the subject published in
1862 by one of the theory's proponents is reproduced here, along with contemporary descriptions and illustrations of the beads under
Identifying Beads Used in the 19th-Century Central East Africa Trade, by Karlis Karklins
A wide variety of glass beads poured into Central East Africa during the second half of the 19th century as explorers, missionaries and
others made their way into the uncharted interior. Each kind had a name and value that, much to the chagrin of the travelers and
present-day researchers, varied from one region to another. This article synthesizes what historical documentation reveals about some of
the more significant beads in the trade with an eye to identifying the actual beads that are represented.
Book, video and dvd reviews in Volume 4:The New Beadwork, by Kathlyn Moss and Alice Scherer (1992), reviewed by
Olive R. Jones • Trade Ornament Usage Among the Native Peoples of Canada: A Source Book, by
Karlis Karklins (1992), reviewed by Olga Klimko • Bijoux berbères d'Algérie, by Henriette
Camps-Fabrer 1990), reviewed by Marie-José Opper • The Glassmakers: An Odyssey of the Jews, The First Three
Thousand Years, by Samuel Kurinsky (1991), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr. • Scientific Research in
Early Chinese Glass, by Robert H. Brill and John H. Martin (1991), reviewed by Roderick Sprague. •
BEADS 3 (1991)
The Mohawk Glass Trade Bead Chronology: ca. 1560-1785, by Donald A. Rumrill
Early glass beads acquired by the Mohawk Indians of New York state were a mixture of whatever was made available to them by European
traders. By the second quarter of the 17th century, the beads reflected a dominance of particular types and/or colors as villages were
relocated. This phenomenon appears to have ritualistic connotations and suggests that the bead-selection process was a part of the
ceremonialism practiced in the daily, seasonal and annual life modes of the Mohawk. Ten distinct periods have been identified based on
an examination of approximately 10,000 glass beads recovered from 33 Mohawk village sites. Other datable artifacts, historic occurrences
and documents are cited to bolster the validity of using glass trade beads as a primary tool in dating the Mohawk village relocations.
French Beadmaking: An Historic Perspective Emphasizing the 19th and 20th Centuries,
by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
Beadmaking in France began in pre-Roman times. It reached its zenith in the 19th and 20th centuries when beads of sundry materials and
styles were produced in both artisanal workshops and large factories to decorate a multitude of items and to serve as components of
fashion jewelry. This article discusses the different beadmakers and their varied products.
The Beads from Oudespost I, A Dutch East India Company Outpost, Cape, South Africa, by Karlis Karklins and Carmel Schrire
The site of a provisioning station operated by the Dutch East India Company near the Cape of Good Hope during the late 17th and early
18th centuries produced a variety of European beads of several materials. A "typical" Dutch bead assemblage of the period, it is
significant because it comes from one of very few independently dated bead-producing sites in southern Africa and, as such, will be
instrumental in the formulation of a chronology for the beads found in this part of Africa.
L'Impiraressa: The Venetian Bead Stringer, by Irene Ninni, translated by Lucy Segatti
In 1893, Irene Ninni published a succinct account of a large but little-known group of Venetian women called impiraressa or bead
stringers whose task it was to thread the glass beads produced on Murano and form them into hanks for the world market. The original
Italian text is provided, along with an English translation. Two late 19th-century paintings by John Singer Sargent provide a rare
glimpse of the bead stringers at work.
Book reviews in Volume 3:Beads and Beadwork of West and Central Africa, by Margret Carey (1991), reviewed by Marie-José
Opper and Howard Opper • Shell Bead and Ornament Exchange Networks Between California and the Western
Great Basin, by James A. Bennyhoff and Richard E. Hughes (1987), reviewed by Leslie L. Hartzell •
Glass Trade Beads in the Northeast, and Including Aboriginal Bead Industries, by Gary L. Fogelman (1991), reviewed by James W.
Bradley • Beads from the West African Trade Series, Vols. V-VI, by John Picard and
Ruth Picard (1989, 1991), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr. • Glass in Jewelry: Hidden Artistry in Glass,
Sibylle Jargstorf (1991), reviewed by Margret Carey.
BEADS 2 (1990)
Observations and Problems in Researching the Contemporary Glass-Bead Industry in Northern China, by Roderick Sprague and An Jiayao
The status of glass-bead manufacturing in northern China is undergoing rapid change due to the development of the plastic-bead industry.
Several manufacturing plants, including the large Beijing Glass Ware Factory, are no longer making beads and several other plants are
contemplating changes. The variety of domestic glass beads available for purchase today would indicate a greater number of manufacturing
sites than are mentioned in the popular literature.
Beadmaking in Islam: The African Trade and the Rise of Hebron, by Peter Francis, Jr.
This paper complements one which appeared in Volume 1 of this journal, as it also deals with beads in the Islamic world. However, the
present work takes a somewhat different approach, being based primarily on historical sources. It also has a different geographical
orientation, dealing with commerce between the Islamic world and the northern portion of Africa. Concentrating mostly on the period from
the 12th to the 20th century, it documents the rise of a new beadmaking center at Hebron, in the West Bank. The name "Kano beads" has
recently been assigned to one class of Hebron beads, and their history is an object lesson in the complexities of the bead trade.
Trade Beads from Hudson's Bay Company Fort Vancouver (1829-1860), Vancouver, Washington, by Lester A. Ross
Archaeological excavations conducted at Hudson's Bay Company Fort Vancouver recovered 100,000+ trade beads of 152 varieties, including
80 varieties of drawn, 57 varieties of wound, 10 varieties of mold-pressed and 3 varieties of blown glass beads, as well as one variety
each of "Prosser-molded" ceramic and cut-stone beads. An additional 6000+ beads recovered from excavations at the HBC Kanaka village and
riverside complex sites may include 39 additional varieties possibly associated with the HBC occupation: 17 varieties of drawn, 12
varieties of wound, and 5 varieties of mold-pressed glass beads, as well as one variety each of stone, bone, wood, metal, and shell beads.
The bead assemblage has contributed to the initial definition of a complex temporal and cultural horizon marker dating from 1829 to 1860
for the Pacific Northwest, and provides insights into mid-19th-century Native-American and Euro-American bead preferences. Analysis of
the assemblage demonstrates difficulties inherent in the existing archaeological bead classification system, and suggestions for
revisions are discussed.
Dominique Bussolin on the Glass-Bead Industry of Murano and Venice (1847), by Karlis Karklins with Carol F. Adams
One of the earliest detailed descriptions of the Venetian bead industry is contained in an obscure book published in French in 1847 by
the Venetian glassmaker Domenico Bussolin. Intended as a "Guide for the Foreigner," this work contains much useful information
concerning bead manufacturing techniques and the socioeconomic aspects of the industry. To make this text generally available, a
translation prepared by Karklins and Adams is provided here.
Perforated Prehistoric Ornaments of Curaçao and Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, by Jay B. Haviser
This paper describes some of the more distinctive characteristics of perforated prehistoric ornaments, primarily beads and pendants,
found on the Caribbean islands of Curacao and Bonaire. The production and stylization of these ornaments is briefly compared between the
islands, as well as with specimens recovered from sites on the South American mainland.
Book reviews in Volume 2:Northern Athapaskan Art: A Beadwork Tradition by Kate C. Duncan (1989), reviewed
by Richard G. Conn • Proceedings of the 1986 Shell Bead Conference: Selected Papers
Charles F. Hayes III and Lynn Ceci (eds.) (1989), reviewed by Marvin T. Smith • The Ubiquitous Trade Bead, by
Anita Engle (1990), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr. • The Glass Trade Beads of Europe: Their Manufacture,
Their History, and Their Identification, by Peter Francis, Jr. (1988), reviewed by Peter P. Pratt. •
BEADS 1 (1989)
Diakhité: A Study of the Beads from an 18th-19th-Century Burial Site in Senegal, West Africa, by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
It is the intention of this paper to place the Diakhité beads into a historical and archaeological perspective, and by so doing examine a period
in Senegambian history that roughly extends from the 18th century to around the middle of the 19th century. The beads serve as a
focal point to describe the trade that brought them from Europe and elsewhere to Senegambia. They also help portray some aspects
of the lives of a particular ethnic group which inhabited the Thies area during this period—the Serer Nones.
Beads of the Early Islamic Period, by Peter Francis, Jr.
Beads from four sites involved in Early Islamic trade (7th to 12th century) are representative of the role the
Muslim world played in the Indian Ocean Bead Trade. The continuation of Classical techniques, the Islamic trade's self-sufficiency, and
the insight beads provide concerning past behavior are some of the issues explored.
Beads as Chronological Indicators in West African Archaeology: A Reexamination, by Christopher R. DeCorse
Drawing primarily on data obtained from recent excavations at Elmina, Ghana, this report examines the potential use of beads as temporal
markers in West African archaeology. It is argued that although beads from West-African contexts are difficult to date, they provide more
information than has previously been suggested. The Elmina beads are of particular interest as they can be closely dated by associated
European trade materials. Preliminary results from the analysis of the 30,000 European and locally-made glass beads are discussed and
findings from other West-African sites are evaluated.
The Beads of St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles, by Karlis Karklins and Norman F. Barka
Archaeological excavations conducted on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius over a seven-year period produced a wide array of 18th to
early 20th-century beads of glass, coral and carnelian. Detailed descriptions of the recovered specimens are supplemented by information
concerning their distribution, relative frequencies, color preference, temporal placement, origins, acquisition and use. Comparative
site data are also provided.
Bohemian Glass Beadmaking: Translation and Discussion of a 1913 German Technical Article, by Lester A. Ross with Barbara Pflanz
This report provides an English translation of a German technical article on late 19th-century and early 20th-century Bohemian glass-bead
manufacturing, published in 1913 in the journal Sprechsaal. The article emphasizes the description of techiques for the manufacture of
mould-pressed beads, secondarily describing methods for wound, blown and drawn-bead manufacturing.
Book reviews in Volume 1:The History of Beads from 30,000 B.C. to the Present, by Lois Sherr Dubin (1987), reviewed by
Roderick Sprague • Beads from the West African Trade Series, Vols. I-IV (1986-1988), by John Picard and Ruth Picard,
reviewed by Christopher DeCorse • Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean. 1500-1800.
Vol. I: Ceramics, Glassware, and Beads, by Kathleen Deagan (1987), •reviewed by Mary Elizabeth Good • A Bibliography of
Glass Trade Beads in North America and its First Supplement (1980, 1987), by Karlis Karklins and Roderick Sprague, reviewed by Lester
A. Ross. •