Antique African Trade Beads

Elegance and beauty in craft. History and culture in each bead.

About Antique African Trade Beads

As early as the 15th century, European explorers exchanged their glass beads as currency for African gold, ivory, and even slaves. The intricate patterns and luminous depth of color in these glass beads created an irresistible allure to people all over the world.

Yoshi first saw these beads in an ethnic trading shop in SoHo in New York City in the early 1980’s, and began to collect them. On one of her visits to Japan, she had the opportunity to learn Kumihimo, the ancient art of Asian knotting. It was a natural connection for her to combine African trade beads with Kumihimo, an experience of East meets West.