Hand-made beads from different Nigerian and African cultures
They are made from a diverse array of materials. Some of the oldest beads were made from natural materials such as stones, clay, plant materials such as palm nuts and bamboo stems and animal materials such as ostrich eggshells. The colours and texture of these materials are retained and combined in different ways as necklaces and bracelets.
Bead-making is an ancient craft universally practised among the various ethnic groups of Nigeria dating to antiquity. Nok culture provides evidence of the earliest civilization in Nigeria with some of its terra-cotta figures depicting human beings, wearing what are presumably strings of stone beads around the necks, wrists and ankles.
Curator: Patrick Enaholo
Photographs: Christopher Udoh
Text: Patrick Enaholo (using various sources)
© The Centenary Project