Beads 26 (2014)
Historical Descriptions of Malay “Beadwork,” by Hwei-Fen Cheah
Little has been published in English about Malay ceremonial textiles. This article relates early-20th-century beaded examples to historical descriptions and court literature to illustrate the link between beaded and bejeweled hangings.
Glass Beads from Jar Burials of the 15th-17th Centuries in the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia, by Alison Carter and Nancy Beavan
A variety of glass beads were encountered in jar burials dating to the 15th-17th centuries found on rock ledges in remote portions of the Cardamom Mountains in southern Cambodia. These burials represent a mortuary ritual in which defleshed bones, often from multiple individuals, were deposited in large ceramic jars predominantly from Thai kilns. The identification of different compositional types of glass beads can be related to possible trade networks with the lowlands and maritime Southeast Asia. Using ethnographic analogies with other upland communities in Southeast Asia, the authors also propose that the placement of beads in the jar burials may have been an important part of the mortuary ritual of the Cardamom Mountain people.
Shell and Glass Beads from the Tombs of Kindoki, Mbanza Nsundi, Lower Congo, by Charlotte Verhaeghe, Bernard-Olivier Clist, Chantal Fontaine, Karlis Karklins, Koen Bostoen, and Wim De Clercq
Among the most important grave goods in the Kingdom of Kongo were shell and glass beads. They occur in many tombs and symbolize wealth, status, or femininity. At the burial site of Kindoki, linked with the former capital of Kongo’s Nsundi province, a great number of shell and glass beads were found together with symbols of power in tombs attributed to the first half of the 19th century. Determining the origin of these beads and their use in the Kongo Kingdom leads to interesting insights into the social and economic organization of the old Bakongo society, their beliefs, and the symbolic meaning of the beads.