Traditional beads: A rich blend of beauty, history and aesthetics

Beads are an integral part of the African history and culture.They were used as a status symbol,adornment and gift.

Maasai beads
These attractive beads are made of plastic and glass that the Maasai obtained from other communities through trade. Before that the Maasai used wood,iron, seeds and shells as materials to make their traditional ornaments. Making jewelry is done specifically by women and it’s considered their duty to learn bead work. In the pastoral communities beaded necklaces were used to indicate the status of one in society.A young unmarried Samburu lady would wear a series of beaded necklaces, which have been given to her as gifts.These beaded necklaces would make her desirable thus securing a marriage proposal. Amongst the Kikuyu a circumcised man would wear a beaded belt known as Kenyatta until he became an elder.In South Africa the Zulu used specific color of the beads to convey a message to their suitor.

Segi
They are a major feature during many traditional festivals during which devotees and participants decorate their bodies with beads of different shapes, colours and sizes. Glass Beads were also one of the products traded, in exchange for humans between Europeans and West Africans in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade era. Later beads signified royalty and distinguished a royal father from his subjects, chieftain title holders and other monarchs always wore beads.Glass beads in Africa are mostly made by the Bida of Nigeria, Krobo of Ghana and Baoule of Cote d’Ivoire.

Cowrie shells
Cowrie shells are valued for their durability and aesthetics.They were once used as burial offerings and symbolize fertility.
It is believed that cowrie shells were the first currency used by mankind. In Ancient Africa they represented wealth and were traded for food,goods and services. They were mostly sourced from India.Nowadays they are used in ornaments and numerous decorations.

Your Summer Accessories

With summer around the corner, here are some African accessories from Lukagwa that are a must try.
African Drop Earrings
In numerous colors, lengths and designs, Afrocentric drop earrings are a must have. Pull your hair back to reveal it’s full glamour.
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African Statement rings
Made to suit multiple occasions, these statement rings are perfect for one who doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry but loves to make a statement.
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Simple African Beaded Bracelet
These colorful bracelets make a perfect gift for all ages. You could layer more than one for a more unique look.
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African Elegant Necklace
Perfect for weddings, the Ndoa necklace is made to look stunning on the bride while being comfortable.
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Cowrie Shell layered Necklace
This piece of timeless jewelry can be worn on special occasions or as a statement piece. This cowrie shell necklace is strung together with smaller antique glass beads and holed coins from old East Africa. It is definitely a collectors item.
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Drop by store to view the vast collection-www.etsy.com/shop/lukagwa