AFRICAN WEDDING BEADS
African Wedding Beads were made in what once was Czechoslovakia for trade in Africa. Beads are extremely significant to the lives of all Africans. Adornment communicates art, religion, rank, and politics. It can also signify age and marital status. They were worn throughout West Africa and Mali for weddings.
In ancient Egypt, stone-carved scarabs were used as magical amulets to give the wearer ‘eternal renewal of life’. This magical object was believed to have protective powers that warded off evil and provided good things for the owner of this life and for the next.
ETHIOPIAN CROSS NECKLACES
Ethiopian crosses are worn by Ethiopian Christians as a symbol of their faith and are the most dominant symbol in Ethiopian life. Some traditions state that the Emperor Zara Yacab (1434-1468) ordered every christian to wear a cross so that they could be distinguished from the Muslims that were invading Ethiopia at the time. Crosses were often given to important monasteries from Ethiopian monarchs.
Bead making in Ghana was first documented in 1746. The Krobo people, noted bead makers, continue to make beautiful glass beads with semi-translucent quality. Finely ground powder from broken bottles and other varieties of scrap glass, are hand cast into models formed from locally dug clay. Beads still play an important role for the Krobo in rituals of birth, coming of age, marriage, or death. Dress up a simple pair of jeans or add an exotic touch for a special occasion.
Ethiopia is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited human areas in the world. In 1939 Opal artifacts dating around 4,000 years BC were discovered in Kenyan caves. Some simple tools of the same Opal were also found in Ethiopia, leading to the rediscovery of Opal deposits in geodes found in volcanic ash in 1990, Shewa Province, Ethiopia. In 2008 another Opal field mined on steep mountain cliffs opened in the highlands of Gonda and Welo Provinces. The Opals are variety of colors: white, yellow, orange, dark red, caramel, and chocolate.