Wampum Beads – Glass Trade
These mini glass wampum beads come in Black, White and Greasy Yellow. These Wampum Beads measure just 6mm long (that’s just over 1/8″).
Bead makers produced beads like these in Europe in the 1700s. Traders brought them to North America. Native American crafters used these glass beads in place of actual Quahog Shell Wampum beads.
You will find them ideal for 18th century reproduction work.
We sell them by the ounce (approx. 160 for Black, 200 for White, 180 for Greasy Yellow) and the 1/2 Kilo (17 ounces).
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History of Trade Beads
From the 15th to the 20th century, traders carried European glass beads across the world. Native Americans highly desired glass beads as glass was then an unknown substance in North American. European glass beads, mostly from Venice, some from Holland and, later, from Poland and Czechoslovakia, became popular and sought after by Native Americans. Europeans realized early on that beads were important to Native Americans. Corporations such as the Hudson Bay Trading Company developed lucrative bead-trading markets with them. The Hudson Bay Trading Company was an organized group of explorers who ventured into the North American continent for trade expeditions during the 19th century.