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Beads and Children in West Africa

Ghana is a small, friendly country in West Africa. When it was an English colony, it was called the Gold Coast, because a lot of gold came from there. Different people live in Ghana, but most of them like beads very much.

Beads are part of life even before birth. Expectant mothers wear some to make sure everything was right for your birth.

When a baby is eight days old, a child's mother puts on some small white beads like these and some on the baby, too.
Beads are said to be good for children. They make sure they do not get sick or go crazy.

Ghanaians have big families. There are special beads to indicate birth order. Certain beads are worn by the first, fifth, seventh, ninth or tenth child, as well as twins and beads for the first or second child born after twins.

These are Koli, sometimes called "cooked beads." They are European glass beads heated in small pots to alter their appearance.
They are one of the bead types that help distinguish between birth orders among some peoples in Ghana.
Click here for a picture of the "cooking" process.

To read more about beads in Ghana, click here.


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