Sometimes trade beads were called slave beads because they were used to purchase slaves. Trade beads were also used to settle disputes and to barter for goods and services. They are often made out of glass. A type of bead from Venice, Italy, called Millefiori, or thousand flower, was known as the African trade bead, which became the most traded bead throughout the world. In Africa, beads were a symbol of wealth and status. Native Americans also appreciated beads. Native American trade beads were simpler. Often they were blue or white instead of in patterns like the African beads. Beads have been traded for hundreds of years, so there is a wide variety available. Beading is a popular hobby today, one in which both children and adults are interested. So trade beads are cherished and worn as jewelry today, just as they were hundreds of years ago. Reliable sellers on eBay offer a wide variety of beads. You are sure to find a favorite.
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