Ethiopian Masterpiece Necklace Ruth Flynn Collection
Ethiopian silver brass trade beads are a type of decorative beads that were historically used as a form of currency and traded in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. These beads were primarily made of brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc.
The use of trade beads in Ethiopia dates back several centuries, and they played an important role in economic and social exchanges. The beads were used as a medium of exchange for goods, as well as for decorative and cultural purposes. They were highly valued and sought after by local communities, and they were also traded with neighboring regions and even farther afield.
Ethiopian silver brass trade beads were typically handmade using traditional methods. The brass material was shaped into small cylindrical or disc-shaped beads, often with intricate designs or patterns. These beads were strung together to form necklaces, bracelets, or other adornments. The designs and patterns on the beads varied, reflecting the cultural and artistic traditions of the different Ethiopian communities that produced them.
Today, Ethiopian silver brass trade beads continue to be valued for their historical and cultural significance. They are sought after by collectors, jewelry designers, and individuals interested in African art and heritage. These beads can be found in antique markets, specialty stores, and online platforms that specialize in African artifacts and tribal jewelry. They serve as a tangible link to Ethiopia's rich history and the vibrant traditions of African trade and craftsmanship.
Provenance: Ruth Flynn Collection
Africa Direct has bought a wonderful collection of beads and trade bead necklaces designed and made by Ruth Flynn.
Ruth says, ‚ÄúI first fell in love with African beads when my middle child (of 5!) decided at age 13 to spend a semester going to school in Bamako, Mali, and live with my sister who was there with the World Bank. Africa Direct provided so many opportunities for me to learn about beads and make my own necklaces. I wore African bead necklaces almost every day of my career as a lawyer in Washington, DC."