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The History of Beads:
Beads have been used throughout the ages and in virtually every culture, not simply as adornment but to express social circumstances, political occurrences, and religious beliefs; as a form of currency; or as symbolic embodiments of curative powers. And they're colorful, made of various interesting materials, and can be combined in endless configurations. With more than 100 crisp color photos and intelligently written text that reaps the benefits of the author's 30 years of research, The History of Beads documents bead styles and uses in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Far East. Ranging from prehistoric times to the 20th century, this book stops along the way to consider the magic eye bead, prayer beads, and beads with other special attributes. An eight-page color gatefold section offers a fascinating timeline of the bead's history at a glance. Bead devotees can satisfy their curiosity about their medium of choice and draw inspiration for their own creations from the beautiful photos of necklaces, collars, bags, headdresses, and other beaded ornaments. --Amy Handy [via]