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Trade Roots

Trade Roots

Brought from Europe and Asia by colonialists and traders beads became a common currency throughout Africa. But it was the creative African interpretation of how the beads were used and their consequential significance in African culture and rituals which has inspired the Trade Routes Collection.

The collection is beaded onto a hand dyed hemp linen base and European style ticking and striped fabrics. The use of stripes and tickings is a nod to the global traders and their sacks and bags of desirable treasures. The beads are a glorious selection of antique trade beads from gold and brass to amber and ostrich shell. But there are also references to more recent trading with the use of vintage discs made in in the 1950's from recycled vinyl records. Each cushion is a unique testament to Africa’s rich trading history.