Hammershus Fairtrade

Afrikansk kunsthåndværk og fair trade

Handmade glass beads

The Krobos in the Yilo and Manya Krobo districts in Eastern Region have produced glass beads since the mid 18th century and maybe earlier.

The beads are made of recycled glass from old bottles, car windows, and other glass waste which are melted into the beautiful, rustic beads.

As with the Bolga baskets, each family has their own protected patterns. Discrepancies and violations of  “copyright” are settled by the local chiefs.

The beads are produced by women, who live in great poverty and who besides farming, are dependent on the beads production as a livelihood. They are often widows or single mothers, and they are one of the most vulnerable groups in the area.

Earlier, the women sold their beads at the weekly local market at very low prices. The trade with beads under Fair Trade conditions gives the women a real income, and contributes to improving the development possibilities for the women and their families - to making it possible for the children to go to school and get food and medicine.

The beads are unique and a produced in a wide range of colours and patterns. They are available as small, simple beads or bigger beads with different, hand-painted patterns.

The first step in the production of the beads, is to pulverize and colour the glass. Then the powder is put into forms with small holes. A straw is placed in ach hole. When the glass is melted in the family's mud-built owens, the burned straw leaves a hole. The small beads are now finished. The big beads are, however, pulled on pins, painted with the respective pattern, and put into the owen once more. Finally, the beads are pulled on a leash, and are ready for sale.

Hand-painted, patterned beads

The traditional beads are available in multiple colours and patterns.

Simple, small glass beads

The small glass beads are available in many differente colours.

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