African beads refer to both what is locally produced and trade beads that are in circulation, originally used as a form of currency, with a history that is tens of thousands of years old. Beads play an enormous role in culture, fashion, economy and in the artistic expression of African people. Beads continue to play a role in many traditional rites and ceremonies such as coming-of-age, marriage, burial, and local festivals.
Bead making is a trade that is often passed down in families.
See the bead makers at work here and learn about this.