Welcome to my blog: My sporadic and/or spontaneous postings of latest jewelry endeavours; sprinkled with family happenings; proud mama moments and things that I simply want to share.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Padre Beads

My latest fave.  Padre beads are trade beads that can be hundreds of years old.  These beads were traded between Europeans and Africans, and then Europeans to Native Americans (mid 1400's to early 1900's).  The name "padre" comes from the Franciscan priests that gave the beads to the Native Americans in trade for their good work and conversion to christianity.  The beads are glass and although not made in one place, most are said to originate from Venice.  

I love the variation in colours, even the chipping and pitting in some - as these are telltale signs of their travels.  Those in too good of condition should be questioned.

The large hole allows them to be strung nicely on soft deerskin.  Wear alone; or looks great layered with other necklaces.

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