Category Archives: Beads
Edo is the name for the place, people and language of an ethnic group in Nigeria believed to be the descendants of the Benin Empire in modern day Nigeria. Many writers have put the origin of the Edo people as coming from Egypt while others believe the people of Edo originated from Ife, the heatland of Nigeria’s Yoruba.
The photos below show an Edo woman adorned with beautiful beads. Beads worn on the waist are common across Africa, however, beads worn as part of an elaborate hair do are less common. Lagos — The Oba of Bini Kingdom, Omo N’Oba Nedo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, recently gave out coral bead, a cherished cultural material in Bini Kingdom to Jackson Gaius-Obaseki in recognition of his service to Bini land.The coral bead called “Ikele” is an important material in Bini Kingdom up of Edo State. It signifies recognition, greatness, hard work to the extent that whosoever wears it is incapable of doing bad. Another significance of the bead is that it is only the Oba that can give it out to those who have achieved greatness not only in the Kingdom, but have made giant strides outside the Bini land.
Photograph Source: Naiaraland.com
Millefiori is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware.
The term millefiori is a combination of the Itallian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers). Apsley Pellatt in his book “Curiosities of Glass Making”) was the first to use the term “millefiori”, which appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1849. The beads were called mosaic beads before then. While the use of this technique long precedes the term millefiori, it is now frequently associated with Venetian glassware.
More recently, the millefiori technique has been applied to polymer clays and other materials. Because polymer clay is quite pliable and does not need to be heated and reheated to fuse it, it is much easier to produce millefiori patterns than with glass.
Millefiori paperweight and beads.
Beads have been made of glass for over 5,000 years. The discovery of fire was the essential step in glass bead making. There is evidence as early as 2340-2180 BC in Mesopotamia of a method known as “core-forming” where they used a metal mandrel with pieces of glass held over a flame. Gradually as the glass soften, they would wrap it around the mandrel forming intricate ornaments. These early beads, or vessels were considered valuable and were preserved as they were placed in burial tombs. In Nuzi (130 miles north of Baghdad) beads were discovered that date to around 1400 BC. Even today, we make beads by holding glass rods over a flame then gently winding the molten glass over the mandrels. The invention of the blow pipe in gave way to the creation of the Rosetta bead and the seed beads which sustained the bead making industry in Venice for centuries. Bead making is truly an ancient art form.
Archaeologists excavated the oldest Turquoise Jewelry known in the world at the cemetery of the royal tombs at Abydos? Turquoise bracelets in gold setting were among other items, found there and are now shown in the Cairo Museum. They are from approximately 5500 B.C.The Egyptians adored turquoise. Some of beads made by the Egyptians these date back to 5500 B.C. Barrel beads and roundel beads are among other types of beads made by the Egyptians. These beads were mixed with obsidian, moss agate and glass beads.