We carry a large selection of beautiful Moroccan beads. Each of these beads are handmade by independent artisans. Many carry rich and deep histories, particularly those adorned by the Berber tribe.
History of Moroccan Beads
On 5th June, 2007, the bead world was rocked by news of a minuscule 12-bead find in Taforalt, Eastern Morocco. Unusually well preserved with distinguishable red ochre patinations, the beautiful shell beads uncovered by archaeologists from the Moroccan Institute of Natural Sciences and Oxford University would quickly cement the North African country as one of the earliest bead-making cultures in the world. According to experts, the Moroccan shell beads date back in excess of 80,000 years, making them the second oldest find after those found in Skhul, Israel, during the 1930's.
Moroccan beads have both fascinated and intrigued bead collectors from around the world since the 18th Century. Natural beads made from amber and agate are discernibly popular among Western cultures, since both minerals are regarded semi-precious. Moroccan beads made from tree resin beads are also a popular export and are thought to have been an early form of currency, used by merchants plying trade via Trans-African routes. As trade ties grew in the 18th Century, Morocco saw a proliferation of beads flood into the country via capital city Marrakesh, including the ambiguous European trade beads that would later inspire Moroccan creativity.
Descended upon by hordes of bead collectors each year, the souks (markets) of mystical Marrakesh are a haven of exotic bead finds, both vintage and modern in appeal. Striking silver-lined beads with beautiful facets of glass or semi-precious stone are some of the most popular, not least because of a history intertwined with the Islamic faith. Moroccan prayer beads are characteristically similar to those of Ethiopia in that they are predominantly symmetrical in design and finish, however, the Moroccan variants are characteristically ornate and usually produced from silver or white metal alloy. Gold is rarely used since it is regarded with superstition.