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Beading Through The Ages

Posted by Nick on 6/26/2014
Beading is one of the earliest forms of jewelry making. Beads have been found on multiple contents from a variety of different cultures and made use of a multitude of different materials. If you think that beading is something that has come along during the last three hundred years, then you would be wrong. This hobby has roots that run very far back into the analogs of history. These beads were not just simple pieces of plastic, but instead they were hard to find and cherished pieces of jewelry.

Take a walk with us as we explore beading through history.

Ancient Man
Cave paintings and tools are something that many archeological digs turn up, but they also find some of the earliest forms of jewelry. Rocks and shiny stones have been found linked together with with animal skin or animal tendons of some kind. A very interesting and humble beginning for the beading world.

Many tribes around the world increase the complexity of the beading process. Since it appears that the beading process has been passed down orally, we can see a complexity begin to form in the jewelry of those tribal peoples. Many styles and variations are still used today and are still made today. Many different cultures hand down many of these creations throughout the family.

European Beadwork
The beading history of Europe goes back a millennia and used a variety of materials that included animal bones and shells from the sea. Glass beads were made in the 14th century in Murano. The French were also known to bead flowers together as early as the 16th century. 

Human ingenuity is very interesting because we can adapt and use whatever materials are around to accomplish the goal that we are trying to achieve. This cleverness is something that is universal in all of us and beading has shown that this drive is not going away any time soon.