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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.

A Hoard of Stone Beads near Lake Chad, Nigeria, by Graham Connah
In 1980, a small pot containing 622 carnelian and quartz beads was found accidentally at Ala, in the Nigerian part of the clay plain south of Lake Chad. It appears to constitute a hoard of wealth which its owner buried and subsequently failed to retrieve. Beads of this sort first appear in this area in the second half of the first millennium A.D., but also occur in second-millennium deposits. Their presence on the stoneless Chadian plain indicates the development of trading contacts with other areas, but neither the source of the raw materials nor the place of manufacture of the beads is known. There is an urgent necessity both to compile a corpus of firmly dated material and to conduct characterization studies that could throw more light on the origin of the carnelian.

Beads, Pendants and Buttons from Early Historic Creek Contexts at the Tarver Sites, Georgia, by Thomas J. Pluckhahn
Recent excavations conducted on historic Creek Indian components at the Tarver (9JO6) and Little Tarver (9JO198) sites in central Georgia produced an extensive collection of European trade material, including a large sample of glass and lapidary beads, pendants and buttons. The bead collection is significant for its size, as well as the fact that virtually all of the material was recovered from undisturbed and tightly dated burial contexts attributable to the relatively brief period between about 1695 and 1715.

Book, Video and DVD Reviews in Volume 8-9
Manik-Manik di Indonesia/Beads in Indonesia, by Sumarah Adhyatman and Redjeki Arifin (1993), reviewed by Heidi Munan • Catalogue of the Beck Collection of Beads in the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: Part 1, Europe, by The Bead Study Trust (1997), reviewed by Jamey D. Allen • The Ghanaian Bead Tradition: Materials, Traditional Techniques, Archaeological and Historical Chronology, Bead Usage, Traditional-Sociological Meaning, by M.L. Kumekpor, Yaw Bredwa-Mensah, and J.E.J.M. van Landewijk (1995), reviewed by Margret Carey • Les Perles: Aufil du textile, by Natacha Wolters (1996), reviewed by Marie-José Opper.