Pitt Rivers Museum Anthropology and World Archaology




Trade beads

For trade to central Africa


Donated by M. L. Levin, bead dealer

Given to the Museum in 1893

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Trade beads for central Africa

From the fifteenth century, glass beads were used as currency by European explorers, traders and missionaries to buy objects from local people all over the world, in particular in Africa. There, glass beads were traded for incense, ivory, tortoiseshell, rhinoceros horn, palm and coconut oils, timber, gold, and slaves.

View database record 1893.28.2