African recycled glass beads are made by members of the Krobo Tribe which is located in Ghana, Africa. These African beads are created by compressing glass into a dry grain, and heating the grain so that the pieces form together. The recycled glass is rushed into a porcelain cast. The stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the hole. It is baked in a furnace causing the glass to melt together and cassava stem to burn. This technique has been used in Africa for centuries to make recycled glass beads
The bead plays an important role in the cultural life of the African people. It is a tradition handed down by the forefathers who cherished and valued the bead - both as a symbol of wealth and as a trade item.
Glass beads have been made for centuries throughout Africa. In Ghana, they were originally made from local clay containing silicone. Then, with the influx of European traders, it became easier to make them using discarded bottles & medicine jars. Apart from their adornment value, beads have been widely used as a form of barter. They also indicate status and rank & are a symbol of prosperity. Recycled glass beads have a grainy texture and are sometimes referred to as “sand glass” beads as the temperatures in the primitive furnaces were never high enough to petrify the silica/sand completely.