Beads 8-9 (1996-1997)
Beads Among the Juang of India, by Alok Kumar Kanungo
The Juang comprise a major primitive community in the state of Orissa in east-central India. Until relatively recently, they had a rich material culture. In particular, their dress and ornaments were very important to them. Today, only very old women wear beads and other ornaments in the traditional way, except on special occasions. This paper seeks to reconstruct the traditional costume of the Juang, with emphasis on the beads, and notes the changes it has undergone over the past 130 years. The findings are based on a survey of the ethnohistoric literature combined with active participant fieldwork in 1995 and 1997, among the Juang of the Keonjhar District in general and of Gonasika village in particular.
Akyem Te: The Technology and Socio-Cultural Setting of the Abompe Bauxite-Beadmaking Industry, Ghana, by Yaw Bredwa-Mensah
Drawing primarily on data obtained from recent research at Akyem Abompe, Ghana, this paper examines the technology and socio-cultural setting of a stone-beadmaking industry in the forest zone of Ghana. Preliminary ethnographic observation of the industry not only reveals that it is community-based, but that it also interacts in a complex way with other local crafts in the village. The production process and marketing of the beads are discussed, as is the antiquity of the industry.
Imitation Pearls in France, by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
To achieve the perfect imitation pearl has been the goal of numerous European beadmakers for over 700 years. In France, the art of making false-pearls spread rapidly after Jacquin discovered how to fill hollow glass beads with a pearl-like substance in the 17th century. Since that time, many diverse recipes have been tried and used to satisfy the French public’s enormous appetite for affordable, yet elegant, imitations of fine pearls. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, these types of beads became even more popular than before, as they emerged as the principal components of costume jewelry worn by celebrated stage personalities.