“These beads are an important part of our history and the colors are very important as well. In some parts of Ghana, blue means purity for example and white means fertility.”

  • Artisans // 75
  • Year Founded // 2005

Ghana Powdered Bead Artisans

From parent to child, the Ghanan bead making tradition has been passed through generations for approximately four hundred years! Our partners in Ghana are passionate about not only providing for their families, but keeping the vibrant handicraft alive for it is symbolic to their country. In Odumase Krobo, our artisan partners employ seventy-five men and women (over forty are women) to hand craft glass beads. The income provided by the group has allowed many of the families to stay in their home villages rather than being forced to move to the capital. They are extremely proud of their work and even continue to look for new ways to help the environment, their families, and the community. Each year, they recycled over 15,000 glass bottles!

“I love making the beads, it reminds me of my ancestors and allows me to be creative. Each day, we crush old glass bottles with a mortar and pestle. For a clearer color, we break the glass into small pieces. Then, we put the beads into a clay mold and bake it in a kiln. We don't use any electricity, just like our ancestors. The clay from the kiln comes from old termite mounds and we use palm kernels to fuel the fire (so that we don’t have to cut the branches down). They burn very hot. My favorite part is adding the center hole to the bead. We use cassava stems. Everything we use and make is recycled, that is our gift to the environment. ” – Ghana Artisan