The History of Beads in Human Civilization and Culture

gold moti mala necklace set

Every time there is a mythological scene from a movie or a TV series, apart from the other gorgeous things that catches the eyes, there is one thing that definitely stand out – long chains of strings of beads. Whether of gold or of pearls, these tiny little roundels of glory are something without which we cannot imagine our history or mythology. The gold moti mala necklace set is a must inclusion part of Indian tradition and continues to be so.

The story of beads is a story of human history that is adorned in human desire for jewellery that would make them look good.

Here is a story about beds:

1)  What are beads?

Though ‘Moti’ is Hindia is often referred to as pearls. Moti can also mean beads. A bead is a small object with a two way hole for threading. It can vary in size from millimetre to centimentre. Beads are normally strung together and worn as jewellery or used as hangings or as handles for bags. Though beads are originally supposedly round in shape, from square to oval to irregular – it can be of any shape and size. It can be made of natural objects like pearls, shells, as well as made of artificial objects like glasses, wood, plastics, etc.

2) What is the history of beads?

The earliest known evidence of beads as jewellery could be obtained in the form of beads made of shells of sea snails known as Nassarius. These are dated to as back as 1,00,000 years. Evidences of uses of beads, especially glass beads have been obtained from the ruins of Mohenjodaro and Harappa as well.

3) Which Natural Materials are used for Making Beads?

There are a wide variety of things naturally obtained which can go into the making of beads. Beads have been and can be made of natural elements like coral, bone, horn, seeds, sea shells, wood and ivory.wood. However the most precious form of beads naturally obtained are the pearls. Beads are also made of natural substances like Amber and Jade.

4) Which artificial Materials are Used for Making Beads?

Nowadays beads made of paper, plastics, ceramics, glass, metals, etc are in vogue. These are normally used in jewellery due to their availability, durability and cost effectiveness.

5) Which are the different ways in which beads have been imbibed in the tradition?

Each country and culture has their own bead story.Native Americans for example have their beadwork in turquoise and silver.Indian pearls have been a part of the ancient tradition and culture. Pearl beads were always a part of the jewellery of the royalty and gradually with the advent of artificial or lab-cultured pearls, pearl beads became accessible to all.In the northern part of Kenya, women do weaving with the beads. The beads are an important part of their tradition and ornamentation. Each of the bead colour signifies something – the white beads signify peace, the blue beads signify water, the green beads denotes grass and the red denotes the bravery of the warriors. Each of these are associated with their life and life style.

These are little examples to show how beads have ben a part of our tradition and cultural heritage. Nowadays the world of artificial jewellery is making rampant usage of beads and giving all beautiful jewellery based on different types of beads.


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