History and Native American Beaded Bracelets
Native American beaded bracelets signify a rich cultural heritage. Traditionally, Native Americans used beads made from wood, stone, coral, shell, or from animal teeth and bones; dependent upon which geographical area a specific tribe resided in. Some were even made from certain metals; copper being a good example. Wood and bone were the easiest to manipulate, but that did not stop them from using many other mediums to create Native beaded bracelets and other beautiful jewelry.
Most people envision colorful beads when they think of Native American beaded bracelets. The colorful glass beads were introduced to the Native Americans by European explorers. The Europeans regarded the glass beads as mere “trinkets” that were of no value, but Native Americans didn’t think in monetary means alone.
Beads were so valuable to Native Americans that they were often used like monetary currency. Native American beaded bracelets and necklaces were often given as gifts, as the European visitors soon came to realize. Some Europeans respected and admired the uniqueness of a gifted Native beaded bracelet or finely crafted necklace, but unfortunately most did not appreciate the true story behind it.
Native American Beaded Bracelets and the Aesthetics of Design
Native American beaded bracelets and necklaces carry an awe inspiring means of storytelling and tribal identification. Geometric patterns were constructed with the beads to signify tribe affiliation, region, and even warrior status. Native beaded bracelets and other jewelry were worn both by men and women, and were used to adorn almost every item of clothing.
Some tribes had story bead necklaces. Figures and symbols were carved into flat pieces of stone and then strung with other beads. It was an excellent way to pass down history and important tribal stories. Some beaded bracelets not only had the tribal pattern, but some even had patterns that represented animals or one of the earth elements. Turquoise is considered to be the sky stone and is used in many Native American beaded bracelets.
Native American Beaded Bracelets Today
Beaded bracelets are still popular today. It is important when shopping for these bracelets that an authentic dealer is chosen. There are many Native American beaded bracelets on the web, but not all are the real thing. Whichever of the Native beaded bracelets is chosen, remember that has a story to tell!