If you love beads, especially ancient beads, please help out the Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ.

And no, I’m not talking about my personal bead stash!

The Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ is in danger of closing. An incredible national (and international) resource, this would be an enormous loss to the bead community.

You can read an article about the museum’s situation here.

You can read how important the Bead Museum is in this re-post of a letter from Alice Scherer, Founder, Center for the Study of Beadwork. This post appeared on the Bead Collector Network forum several months ago.

Here are 20 Ways to Love the Bead Museum.

Why should we care about beads? It’s easy to smirk at the idea of little glittery trinkets having much significance in the greater scheme of things.

Except that beads were some of the first things ancient people adorned themselves with. Beads have been around a long, long time.

Beads were used very early for trading and commerce. Just like pottery, the discovery of ancient beads in archeological digs can be used to trace ancient trade routes. They reflect how cultures around the world interacted throughout prehistory.

I wrote this article awhile back, marveling at how long we humans have been at this thing called “adornment” and “fashion”. The desire to decorate ourselves, to distinguish ourselves from others, overlaid with the desire to connect, trade, exchange and adapt with each others’ cultures, fascinates me.

And beads are at the very beginning of that very human phenomenon.

Isn’t it nice when you can buy a nice strand of Zulu grass strand beads for less than $10, and save a true national treasure at the same time?

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