Want to learn more about Bead History?
Beads is one the earliest forms of jewelry with a pair of beads made from "Nassarius" sea snail shells dating to approximately 100,000 years ago. Today many communities use them and adapt them into their culture and symbology.
Shell Necklace. Dzehkabtun, Late Classic 600-800 AD
Beads become art in the hands of each community. Discover these 5 indigenous communities and ethnic groups that work with beads from around the world:
Embera Chamí, Colombia
Masai, Kenya and Tanzania
Shipibo - Konibo, Peru
Inga- Kamentsa, Colombia
For the Embera indigenous community in Colombia, the "OKAMA" represents their life path. This piece is only used by women and girls and through it they tell their stories and their role within the community, as they grow older its size increases, filling it with stories throughout their lives.
These are two of our favorite handmade pieces of the season made with beads:
The Kuara top, woven by the Embera indigenous community in Pereira, Colombia with centuries of tradition applied into a contemporary design.
And the Che che earrings by Susana Vega, whose curiosity and innovative mind led her to develop her own beading technique, creating versatile jewels that can be modified in seconds, with designs that can be used as long drop earrings or short studs.