The Society intends to establish a permanent bead collection in Ghana, along with a Bead reference library. Among its other aims, the society wants to produce and publish an encyclopedia of the beads which are found, traded and made in Ghana. This encyclopedia will include the names, sources, and usage of various beads in order to maintain the heritage of them before they disappear into obscurity or to other continents. They also aim to encourage local bead production, and to seek contact with other bead societies, bead historians and collectors.
The Ghana Bead Society is dedicated to recording Ghanaian Bead Culture and to the preservation and promotion of Ghanaian Beads. It is the first Bead Society in Africa. To our great concern, we watched a significant part of Africa’s cultural heritage being shipped overseas in huge quantities. Members feared that with this exodus of old and valuable beads, a great deal of culture and history would be lost to the Ghanaian people.
Since its conception, the Society has continually met to discuss beads and share information on subjects as “the making of bauxite beads”, a lecture by Prof. Bredwa Mensah, and “Beads, copies and imitations” by Prof. Van Landewijk, both of Legon University.
At our monthly meetings, there is a general sharing of knowledge and information about various types of beads, beadmaking techniques, etc. We have made fieldtrips like the one to the Sesame Excavation and we make regular visits to the Dipo festival.
We have been visited by international bead experts like the late Peter Francis Jr., who gave a lecture in the British Council Hall; and Jamey D. Allen, a well known authority on beads. Some of our members featured in films and documentaries. The Beadmaking industry in Ghana featured prominently in “World on a String”, an award-winning documentary by Diana Friedberg.