Jewelry and ornamentation have been a part of cultures all over the world probably since it began.  As people began to experiment with the resources around them—stones, trees, plants, clay, etc, they began to see great opportunities to create beautiful things.  In tribes of old, the spiritual and political leaders of the community were sometimes designated by the kind of jewelry and accessories they wore.  It was a sign of something special—of social advantage, or of power.  

These people crafted beaded necklaces, head adornments, and other things to drape on their bodies out of many things.  Sometimes they would string them on plants or animal skins, and, of course, all were made by hand.  Beaded jewelry was the norm, because most everything had to be crafted, and then strung on some kind of strand or chain.  Almost anything could become a bead:  a bone, a small rock, some precious stone or metal, or even hair or parts of an animal for good luck.  
the fashion of wearing beaded jewelry

Soon enough, women began to adopt the fashion of wearing beaded jewelry.  In more recent years, it has become a large fashion industry and ranges from all kinds of weights, lengths, materials, and colors.  Even handmade jewelry is becoming more popular, with kits available to the average person.  Many people have begun to make their watches into a piece of beaded jewelry, and these are becoming more and more widespread.

These practices stem from old traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, through centuries.  Every culture has its own twist on how it is done, or what it is made from, but most cultures use some kind of beaded jewelry to designate something of meaning, or even just to promote the idea of beauty.  We are not so far removed.  And now, with so many options available, you can find the kind of jewelry that will really mean something to you.
July 14, 2012 — Stephanie White

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