Bead Work

A bead is a cylindrical item made of wood, glass, plastic, or seeds with holes formed for string or thread to pass through to keep them together. Beadwork is the art or craft of connecting beads together using a sewing needle or beading needle and thread.

Beads may be found in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and materials, all of which can be modified. It is an essential component of one’s overall body adornment. The Yoruba people, who live in the southwest part of Nigeria make extensive use of beads, not only as decorations and jewellery but also as royal symbols. Yoruba ladies often wrap it around their waists to display their cultural identity. Beads are also worn as necklaces by the Fulani Normad people. Beads are also sometimes used for magical purposes and may be worn as armlets in certain cultures. People from the Niger Delta, Edo, Ilorin, Ife, Anambra, and Nupe are known for their skill in working with beads.


Production of Beads

Making Beads with Paper

  • Paper, gum or cassava starch, scissors, a ruler, and a broomstick are required components of the material.
  • Step-by-step procedures: 
  • Using the broomsticks, roll the paper into a bead of the specified diameter until it reaches the desired size.
  • Use gum or cassava paste to glue the roll’s terminus together, so that it does not unwind on its own. 
  • Take the broom away. The string would be able to pass through the hole that was previously made in the wall by the broom.
  • While creating your paper beads, tie a knot in one end of the thread, and then feed the other end of the string through each hole.

Making Beads with Seeds

Seeds of the same size are required for this project, and their centres must be perforated so that string or rope may be threaded through them.

Step-by-step procedures: 

  • Tie off one end of the thread with a knot.
  • Make each individual knot on the string go through the hole in turn.
  • Secure the knot by tying the rope’s two ends together.

Making Beads with Straws

Straws of various colours, a razor blade, and thread are the required materials. 

Step-by-step instructions: 

  • You are free to combine different colours of straws in accordance with your preferences.
  • Take each one of them in turn, and then thread the rope through the space between them.
  • Tie a knot in both ends.

Making Beads with Bottle Cover

Bottle tops, a nail, and twine will serve as the necessary materials.

Step-by-step procedures: 

  • Make a string to any desired length; it all depends on your preferences.
  • Take the bottle tops one at a time and thread them through the string, doing this until the whole length of the string is used up.
  • Tie a knot in both ends.

Making Beads with Glass

  • Materials and equipment needed are broken bottles or glasses, bellow, furnace, metal rod, wood chips and pot.
  • Procedures: 
  •  Melt the broken glass through the furnace.
  • Separate and puncture the molten glass lump with a rod.
  • Mould the beads into the desired sizes.

Making Beads with Clay

Clay, water, and thread are the essential components.


  • Make sure the clay is ready.
  • Pinch a little amount.
  • Roll the clay between the palms of your hands.
  • Make a hole in the middle of it.
  • Make each individual knot on the string go through the hole in turn.
  • Secure the string by tying a knot on both of its ends.

Uses of Beads

1. beads are traditionally worn around the neck as a form of jewellery.

2. Religious applications: They are employed in festivals and ceremonies.

3. The Yorubas employ them in the production of crowns and other items associated with the royal court.

4. Identification: Certain beads, such as those worn by kings and nobles in the culture, are crafted in a way that is unique to them. They (the kings) are immediately identifiable anyplace because of the beads that they wear.

5. To manufacture products for personal use and for the home, such as jewellery purses, shoes, bags, flower vases, and coasters, among other things.

6. For the production of textiles

NOTE: A week for lesson the second week for practical

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