Jewelry

Other than their use for adornment, African jewelry pieces also have cultural significance. Jewelry/beads are made from recycled glass, brass, bauxite, shells, and seeds, and may indicate wealth, power, and ones standing in society. Ghana beadwork is actually a language system where colors, patterns, and other items used, covey specific meanings. The most complex use of beads, anywhere in Ghana, are used in the rituals of courtship and marriage. Beadwork communication acts to directly convey messages from the heart, where speech may fall short. Traditional bead wear among women, show wealth, commitment, religious ancestral implications, pride and beauty, queenship, heritage, and value. They can also indicate stages in life, such as motherhood and mourning. Among men, they become a symbol of office for chiefs, traditional priests, and other figures in the community, as well as showing wealth, commitment, and religious ancestral implications. Beads were also used in the barter for ivory, oil, gold, and slaves in previous centuries.

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