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Ghana History of Krobo People and Beads

Ghana History of Krobo People and Beads

Ghana History of Krobo People and Beads

After learning about Ghana's Krobo people and beads follow step by step directions to make a beautiful endless, no-clasp Ghana glass beaded necklace.

The Krobo people are a large ethnic group in Ghana. They are the largest group of the seven Dangme ethnic groups of Southeastern Ghana. The Ga-Adangbe people of the Krobo Mountain were originally wanders. 

Krobo Mountain was a natural fortress that would defy the ascent of an army against the tribe. The people are supposed to consist of emigrants from the coast neighborhood of Ningo, Shai and Ada. The bulk of the people are today are primary trading in Krobo beads, printed cloth and employed in farming work, particularly in the growing of coffee, cocoa, and palm oil.

This district contains large and important towns, the chief of which are Odumase, Sra, Kpong and Akuse. An excellent trade road now exists from Accra through Aburi, Akropong, Odumase, Pong, Akwamu, to Anum in the Peki country. Both the Ga and Adangme languages are spoken throughout the district, and the elements of English and the vernacular are now being taught in the schools exclusively.

A range of mountains from the Aquapim country traverses the Krobo district from south-west to northeast, and isolated peaks are dotted about the country. The chief of these is the Krobo Mountain, Mount Yogaga, Mount Noyo, and Mount Lovolo. 

The town of Odumase, the residence of the king and an important city to the Krobo people is almost surrounded by mountains. The land of the Krobos is historically occupied two major mountains-Krobo Mountain and Akwapim Mountain. The Krobo Mountain is the spiritual and physical home of the Krobo people.

There are five types of Krobo beads, recycled antique beads, recycled transparent beads made from old glass bottles, recycled glass beads pounded into a fine powder and then fired in a kiln for 25 - 30 minutes, the fourth is painted beads painted with pounded glass mixed with paint.

Bodom Beads are made from termite hill clay and are made for chiefs and queen mothers. The Krobo people believe the type of bead you wear shows how important and how wealthy you are. 

All beads are polished by hand 10 -15 minutes using sun and water rubbing beads against each other. The beads are then strung on twine and sold in local and foreign markets, traded throughout the world and sold online.

Ghana Krobo People Beads
Ghana Krobo People Beads

How to Make a Ghana Glass Beaded Necklace

Necklaces are the most eye-catching pieces of jewelry. Their size, combined with brilliant colors, makes them easy to see and admire. In spite of this, they are the easiest jewelry projects, requiring only scissors, cord, and jewelry glue.

You will need a good pair of scissors to be able to make clean cuts and heavy cording since Ghana glass beads are heavier than most beads.  Silk is the traditional beading cord but nylon and polyester cords are replacing silk. They have nearly the same strength and longer life. 

A number or a letter defines cord size. The size used is dependent on the size of your beads, with larger, heavier beads requiring a stronger cord. We recommend using FireLine beading wire for the heavy Ghana glass beads.

How to Make a Ghana Glass Beaded Necklace
How to Make a Ghana Glass Beaded Necklace

Let’s begin the tutorial for making an endless, no-clasp glass beaded necklace

Start by measuring the length for your necklace, the typical over the head necklace is 35 inches long.

Place a piece of tape on the other end of the thread. This will keep the beads from sliding off the end.

Feed the Ghana glass beads onto the FireLine until you have 35 inches beaded.

Pull the threads to tighten up the necklace.

Tie a knot. We use a Surgeon's knots. To tie this knot cross the cord on the leftover the cord on the right. Then wrap the cord on the right side over the cord in your left hand and bring it back up through the middle.

The surgeon's knot has one additional pass-through on the first half of the knot. While still holding the cord from the last step, pass it over and around the other cord one more time. With this, you have made a total of two wraps around the cord. Finish the surgeon's knot by bringing the right side of the cord over the top of the left and then wrapping it around and through the middle of the knot. Pull-on each side of the cord to secure the base of the knot.

Put a few drops of jewelry glue on the knot.

Feed the loose ends of the thread through a few beads then trim.

Add a tassel or a cute dangle bead and you are done!

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My mother is a historian of African culture and history and her influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

Chic African Culture

Elegant but earthy The African Gourmet and Chic African Culture highlights African culture, food recipes, modern and ancient history.

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