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Bead Basket

Quorum Trading Company

Quorum Trading Company is a single member artisan site specializing in the design and assembly of authentic trade bead jewelry and accessories. All products are newly crafted by hand and comprised of various beads, bands and other ancient materials from West Africa during the 14th century along with European versions up thru the 19th century.

 

Objective Goal

 

In an effort to preserve the heritage and legacy of those affected by the African Trade Bead market, it is my intent to collect and create artistic forms that allow us to reflect on the past and acknowledge the ancient gift of trade implemented by the people of pre-colonial Africa. 

 

With time and continued support from family and friends, I am hopeful that more of us can learn to appreciate the origin of beads and their contribution to society as one of the first true forms of intercontinental currency.

Colonial Trade Routes

History of African Trade Beads 

Trade beads are beads that were used as a medium of barter within and amongst communities around the world. They are considered to be one of the earliest forms of trade between members of the human race. It has also been surmised that bead trading was one of the reasons why humans developed language as a means to help facilitate multicultural commerce.

 

 

Made to ease the passage of European explorers and then traders mainly across the African continent, the beads were made throughout Europe although the Venetians dominated production. Archaeologists documented in 2022 that beads manufactured in Europe continued to accompany exploration of Africa using Indigenous routes into the interior as recently as the late-nineteenth century.