The Beauty of Beads on African Traditional Attire – The Nigerian Perspective

Today, we will be writing about the Nigerian Coral Beads; an unavoidable component of a complete traditional outfit.

The use of the Coral beads in Nigeria cuts across ethnicity, and diverse cultures, in the country, as the Igbos, Yorubas, and the Hausas have their respective versions and application of beads in their traditional or ceremonial outfits.

In the African continent, as evident among the Zulus of South Africa, beads are of great significance, and also, deeply rooted in respective African traditional cultures. Hence, almost all countries in Africa have one form of beads representation or the other, in their traditional cultures.

In Nigeria for instance, the traditional regalia of Kings, Chiefs, Queens, Princes and Princesses, will not be complete without beads. It epitomizes kingship and royalty.

As time and civilization birthed a relatively new world and generation, the Coral beads gradually became common among the rich and famous in the society. Some people put it on as an act of ethnic patriotism, e.g. the Igbo tribe of Eastern Nigeria.

This article will not be complete if we fail to point out that the Coral bead is also an important component of a couple’s outfit during a traditional marriage ceremony in Nigeria, although with slight differences and modifications across various ethnic cultures, ethics, and creed.

The Igbo Brides;

The Igbo tribe is primarily found in the Eastern part of Nigeria. They are known to be very enterprising and innovative people. Hence, you won’t doubt their ability to dominate the Coral beads production and sales market. Almost all Igbo families have one or two readily available bead in their homes. Hence, a traditional marriage ceremony is a perfect opportunity for men and women/invitees to appear in very beautiful traditional attires adorned with hand crafted Coral beads.

The Igbo bride- Ada Nna or Ada Nne, always appear regal in her traditional outfit, well garnished with Coral beads for the neck, hands, waist, and legs. A look at her will automatically spur up your interest in getting your own Igbo bride.

We will write extensively on marriage cultures and procedures in Nigeria, on a later date.

The Yoruba Bride;

The Aso-oke; a cultural attire in the Yoruba land, cannot be missing in a couple’s outfit during a Yoruba traditional marriage ceremony.

Other beautiful fabrics such as Damask, Lace, Cotton, and Ankara can also be used, but in combination with the Aso-oke. We will not also fail to write about the beautiful Gele- head gear, which accords women that perfect African traditional look and feel.

However, all above mentioned outfits will not be complete without beautifully made Coral beads-mostly hand crafted.

The use of beads does not end with the Igbos or the Yorubas.

The Hausas have their versions of the Coral beads which are often used for special occasions too.

In Edo State of Nigeria; beads on a bride’s neck known as the Ivie-uru, the Ivie-obo on their hands, the beaded ear rings, waist beads, and ones for the bride’s legs, are very common, and compulsory traditional practice. The Edo traditional marriage ceremony is truly a buffet for the eyes.

The Ijaws, Kalabari, and notably the Anioma people of Delta state are not left out. They also flourish traditional outfits garnished with beautiful Coral beads.

In Nigeria therefore, it is correct or safe to say that beads is one of the untold unifying symbols, as it is used in all three major ethnic groups, and in other sub cultures within the country.

Also, beads are now used in making hand bags, waist belts, ladies shoes, etc.

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Return To Nature With Necklaces Of Semi Precious Stone

Within a high end collection, a designer can use exquisite patterns and high luster materials to choose each unique piece and arrange them into gorgeous necklaces. Many different patterns and approaches to the creation of these pieces mean each of the artists can form completely different appearances depending on their perspective, method, and talent.

Varying in length, anywhere from 20 to 52 inches, each of the beautiful pieces are created from semi-precious stock. Stringed designs are fashioned from beads, chips, pendants, shell flowers, chunks, nuggets, and rectangular stones. Familiar names like turquoise, amethyst, pearl, jade and onyx appear quite frequently in these arrangements.

Each hand-made piece is created from genuine semi precious gemstones. The possibilities are almost endless when creating such pieces. The unusual names and variety of designs make each piece unique. Whether it is stunning smoky quartz or small, round carnelian beads, the many colors and choices of shape, order of items, and arrangement can be unusual as well as beautiful. Strands of beads can be combined to form a rope effect. Flowers can be formed from faceted crystals or shells.

Designs can be centered around these flowers, or have beads coiled in the middle. Cultured black or freshwater pearls can all blend to create the illusion of bubbles. Braided faceted moss agate can be combined with other green semi-precious stones to form necklaces that would be at home on Irish royalty.

For a fashion forward look, some layer pieces of different lengths. Closures for the necklaces can vary based on the composition of the rest of the piece. Some are available with a black onyx toggle clasp or with a jade toggle closure. Extenders are another option for varying the look of the same necklace with different clothing choices.

They can be worn at casual gatherings or formal events. Compliments usually come in the form of questions seeking to know the names of each piece and if there is a meaning that each bead represents. Knowing what each one is comprised of will create a conversation that may delve into the more esoteric view of each representation.

Unusual names are used often, but may not be labeled as clearly. Blue agate, African aventurine, cherry quartz, prehnite, Lapis Lazuli, and Amazonite chunks… Just to name a few. Many wonder where these names came from and may research the origins in order to connect meaning and personalize the order and arrangement of beads.

Sparkly faceted crystals are fashioned into beads. No two necklaces of the same style are exactly alike simply because semi precious gemstones are found within the layers of the Earth. When combined, the vein, pattern, and color will vary slightly with each piece since each bead has a unique appearance all by itself.

Most experts consider genuine to mean mined from the Earth. Simply because they are in a different list than the most familiar gems, such as diamond, ruby, or sapphire sometimes means it is assumed they are not genuine. Smoky quartz, turquoise, amethyst, ametrine, aventurine, black and blue onyx, white, pink, or gray cultured freshwater pearls, rainbow fluorite, lapis lazuli, moss agate, natural deep purple amethyst can all be considered natural, genuine gems.

There are necklaces made from stones that are lab created or fake. Labeling may be the most important factor to look for when investigating authenticity. Be sure to look for retailers or online stores that can guarantee the authenticity of all their products.

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How To Get The Best Tassel Necklace With Pearls

Lustrous pearls make very elegant tassel necklaces and the necklaces offer a very convenient way of incorporating tassels into your look. The elongating effect makes them easy and effortless in adding instant polish to your look. Pearls are considered very precious and they can make an otherwise dull outfit look stylish and elegant. With the possibility of choosing your preferred tassel color, you definitely will be able to achieve your preferred look.

There are so many types of tassel necklaces and just like buying any other important piece for your wardrobe, there are things that you should consider when getting your pearl tassel necklace. These are the factors that will determine the kind of look you are able to pull when wearing your necklace.

Pearl arrangement – Some of the necklaces will have pearls running all through with some even having the tassel made of the pearls. Others will have pearls distributed in different areas of the necklace and there are numerous styles you can choose from. Consider which arrangement is best for you; decide how many pearls are too many and how many are too little depending on your personal preferences to make the best choice.

The pearls – Tassel necklaces that are made using pearls may have original quality pearls or they can have faux pearls. The originals are definitely higher in quality, but this will mean you dig a little deeper into your pockets. Faux pearls on the other hand make very beautiful necklaces only that they may not be able to maintain the beautiful look for long even though they are very affordable. Your tassel necklace intended use can help you make this determination and so should your values and budget.

Measurements – The length of your pearly tassel necklace should matter because it can have an effect on the final look that you achieve every time you wear your necklace. Long enough necklaces may seem advantageous to creative wearers because they can be worn not just around the neck but also stylishly tied to the waistline. Apart from considering the length of the necklace itself, think about the d├ęcor drop length as well, so you can select a necklace that matches your personal style.

Other materials – Some pearl tassel necklaces feature pearls, only whereas others may come with additional materials like rhinestone and other different stones and beads. Consider whether you want such combinations of whether you want a necklace that is strictly made using the pearls. Also important to consider when it comes to the necklaces is the base material; is the quality good enough to hold the pearls and last you for a considerable length of time? There are so many base metals that can be used to make the necklaces and other materials too, so make your consideration and select the most suitable.

Other things that you can consider when buying your pearl tassel necklace are bead size and tassel color. Handmade tassel necklace makers give you the freedom to choose bead pattern style and tassel colors so you can have a personalized necklace just for you.

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