It's Friday and here I am again...posting my third 'Five on Friday' in a row! Wow! 😄
My topic this week is trade beads (also known as African trade beads and/or Native American trade beads).
|Some Reproductions From My Own Collection|
Spring Interpretive Training is a much-anticipated, wonderfully-fun time of sharing and learning for our jobs with Missouri State Parks...and, oddly enough, when I think of Spring Interpretive Training, I think of trade beads. 😏
Let me explain...
1) My Introduction To Trade Beads
I was first introduced to trade beads by this fellow right here...
|Interpreter Tim Bischoff|
His name is Tim Bischoff and, at Spring Training, he does a fantastic first person interpretive presentation as Jean Batptiste LaMontagne, a friend and relative of French-Canadian fur trader, George Drouillard.
|Part of Tim Bischoff's Period Outfit, |
Which Includes Authentic Trade Beads
2) My Own Collection of Trade Beads
After seeing Tim's presentation at Spring Training for the first time in 2016, I was hooked! As soon as I got home I started researching trade beads for myself and building my own collection. Most of my beads are reproductions (as in the top photo above...those were ordered from Crazy Crow Trading Post...which is a great resource for stuff like this!), but, thanks to Tim, I have a few beads that are of the real-deal, authentic kind.
A couple of years ago Tim put me touch with a good deal on E-bay and, then, last year, at Spring Training, he blessed me with a variety of authentic beads from his own collection. Those, of course, have become the most treasured beads in my collection.
...a strand of Native American trade beads in one of the display cases on the wall! They had been there all along and I had probably seen them dozens of times. I just hadn't made the connection yet. Now I knew what I was looking at! 😲
The children not only learned about trade beads, but they were encouraged to make a few beads of their own out of paper.
Combining the beads that they made with a variety of pony beads, the children strung their creations making beautiful necklaces. Each child was allowed to select and add a few reproductions from my own collection, as well.
Hopefully, a seed was planted and some of those children will discover a love of trade beads for themselves.
On the other hand, I have cut up tons of old magazines, and with the help of others, have rolled thousands of paper beads like these...
The paper beads that we made, along with a variety of pony beads, and twine, were turned into 'trade bead' kits that were given away to children at our 2018 Prairie Jubilee at Prairie State Park.
The children were invited to select the beads that they wanted and, either take the supplies with them to make a necklace at home...
|The Most Treasured Beads in My Collection|
Authentic Trade Beads
3) Discovering Trade Beads @ Work
Our family has been visiting Prairie State Park now for over a quarter-of-a-century, and I have worked as a naturalist and interpreter there for six. It wasn't until after my second year of Spring Training, when walking through the exhibits one day, I noticed this...
|Trade Beads On Display At Prairie State Park|
4) Sharing My Love of Trade Beads With Others
After building my own collection of trade beads (authentic and reproductions), and after studying and learning a bit more about them, I put together a program on them to be presented to children.
|Some Of My Beads and Table Set-up|
|Some Of My Beads and Table Set-up|
|One Of The Children Modeling Their Beautiful Necklace|
5) Paper Trade Beads
In the course of learning about trade beads, I discovered that you can buy books that feature pretty strips of paper that can be cut and rolled into paper trade beads. I've got the book, but have yet to cut and roll the beads.
|A Book of Paper Beads|
|Paper Beads Made From Old Magazine Pages|
|'Trade Bead' Kits|
|Trying To Decide Which Colors To Choose|
...or, if they preferred, they were welcome to put their necklace together on-site.
|Making Her Own Strand of Trade Beads To Enjoy|
Well, now you probably know way more about my love of trade bead than you ever even wanted to, but...oh, well! What can I say? 😏
Does anyone else here enjoy trade beads...even a little bit?
Until next time...
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