Saturday, 22 September 2012

Trading Beads

Our first day of exploration was to Koforidua where each Thursday a bead market is held. When we arrived in the main square there was no sign of anyone selling anything and I began to prepare myself for a major disappointment. Francis made enquiries and we soon found ourselves at the new venue beside the Jubilee Park.  The market wasn’t as extensive as I imagined notwithstanding the fact that there were more beads than we could look at in a week. It was also far more organised than I had hoped for and set up in individual little shops. Excitement mounted!

I wanted to buy beads here and I’m sure that was obvious to every stallholder. “Woman with money to spend” could have been tattooed on my forehead. Actually, there was a lot of encouragement to look but little pestering to buy, which was refreshing. Having seen beads made at Cedi Beads and bought some in a range of places, I had some idea about what I was looking for.

We were nearly back to the beginning of a circular route when we met a guy with a wonderful selection of old beads. He worked far too hard at telling us about his experiences selling beads in London Markets, even showing us his receipt book in Sterling with a recent sale in Camden. He needn’t have bothered. I was hooked anyway and knew I would not be leaving empty handed. He may have had a stall full of valuable beads but was only able to offer me this small broken piece of mirror with which I could admire them! The beads I am wearing here are now in my house and, evidently, are ancient trading beads. The trader said I could look them up in his numerous books to prove their authenticity. If they are fakes, I don’t care as I love them anyway. They have a gorgeous smooth and heavy feel to them and have clearly been worn many times before. Many thanks to Jeny for intervening and buying me an early Birthday gift.  How lucky am I?

It was important to leave then, before I could get completely carried away. We staggered to the car with heavy bags and I couldn’t wait to explore my purchases at leisure and make designs for threading them.

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