Slave Beads of St. Eustatius
Statia slave beads are considered famous and are an interesting facet of Caribbean history. In the 1700's Statia was the center of slave trade between Africa and North America. The exact purpose of the beads has been lost in time. Some say the slaves used the beads to barter. when a man wanted to marry, he had to collect enough beads to go around his women's waist. others say the slaves wore the beads to signify their own value.
It is now believed that the beads came from Holland and were made by hand. The molten glass was wound around a mandrel and the sides were flattened. Statia beads are also white and clear but blue is the most common.
In 1776 the British Pirate Admiral Rodney sacked the island of St. Eustatius for saluting a ship flying the American flag. a few years later an earthquake finished the destruction of the waterfront. The island never recovered. However, from time to time, one of the 200 to 300 year old beads can be found in the sand, tantalizing us with echoes of the hidden past. Now Statia blue beads are appearing again made on the islands of St.Eustatius and Saba by Jo Bean. these new beads are close reproductions of the originals.
We hope you enjoy wearing a piece of Caribbean History.