African  Beaded Jewellery – The Importance of Beads in African Culture

The rich tradition of African jewellery is embedded in the culture of traditional life. It is not simply to enhance one’s appearance. The tradition goes back an estimated 25,000 years to the Stone Age, via the discovery of jewellery and other similar objects found in graves and household sites from that era. Ivory beads and necklaces made from fish bones are just some of the items which have been found.

However, African beadwork and beaded jewellery, while rich in tradition, have relatively recent origins. They developed with access to imported European beads and curios as items of trade.  Since then, bead making and working into beaded jewellery have become vital components of African life and cultures by enhancing rituals and ceremonial dress.   Without these traditions today’s African costume jewellery and beadwork might not exist which would be a great loss.

The African Collection is pleased to be able to present a range which has it roots in the delightful beadwork.   African jewellery in this collection is a union of elegant design elements applied to produce pieces that assume a character and beauty far beyond the sum total of their individual beads.