Journals-Beads 4-1992

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Beads 4 (1992)   O.P.

The Beads of Cameroon, by Pierre Harter, translated by Howard Opper
Glass beads have long played an important role in the art and culture of Cameroon, a country situated on the east side of the Gulf of Guinea in West Central Africa. This article reviews the different kinds of drawn and wound glass beads that have found broad acceptance in west-central Cameroon and discusses their diverse applications. Beads of other materials, as well as cowries and buttons, are also dealt with.

The Beads of Roman and Post-Medieval Antwerpen, Belgium, by Karlis Karklins and Tony Oost
Excavations conducted at several sites in Antwerpen, a principal city and seaport on the Schelde River in northern Belgium, have uncovered a small but significant collection of glass beads. These range from a decorated specimen of the Roman period to tubular square- and star-sectioned beads of the 16th-17th centuries. The Post-Medieval specimens, found in the cesspits of merchants’ homes, give us an idea of what Antwerpen was exporting during the early part of this period.

Beads in the Lives of the Peoples of Southern Togo, West Africa, by Pascale Nourisson, translated by Pierre Nadon
Beads are objects of infinite diversity among the Mina-Guen of southern Togo. They accompany the people in all the material and spiritual aspects of their existence. However, while the beads serve such varied functions as ornaments, currency and emblems of wealth and prestige, they find their principal use in voodoo.

On the Date of the Copper Age in the United States, by A. Morlot
During the mid-19th century, some scholars believed that the chevron beads found in early Indian graves had been brought to North America by globe-trotting Phoenicians or representatives of some other higher European civilization. A paper on the subject published in 1862 by one of the theory’s proponents is reproduced here, along with contemporary descriptions and illustrations of the beads under discussion.

Identifying Beads Used in the 19th-Century Central East Africa Trade, by Karlis Karklins
A wide variety of glass beads poured into Central East Africa during the second half of the 19th century as explorers, missionaries and others made their way into the uncharted interior. Each kind had a name and value that, much to the chagrin of the travelers and present-day researchers, varied from one region to another. This article synthesizes what historical documentation reveals about some of the more significant beads in the trade with an eye to identifying the actual beads that are represented.

Book, Video and DVD Reviews in Volume 4
The New Beadwork, by Kathlyn Moss and Alice Scherer (1992), reviewed by Olive R. Jones • Trade Ornament Usage Among the Native Peoples of Canada: A Source Book, by Karlis Karklins (1992), reviewed by Olga Klimko • Bijoux berbères d’Algérie, by Henriette Camps-Fabrer 1990), reviewed by Marie-José Opper • The Glassmakers: An Odyssey of the Jews, The First Three Thousand Years, by Samuel Kurinsky (1991), reviewed by Peter Francis, Jr. • Scientific Research in Early Chinese Glass, by Robert H. Brill and John H. Martin (1991), reviewed by Roderick Sprague.