Women as Bead Traders
It's a fallacy to think of beads as just "women's things." On balance, women wear more beads than men. As other pages in this section show, women dominate in some aspects of beads, while men dominate in others. What about bead traders?
I've never seen a census taken of bead shop owners in the US, but from my experience I imagine they are mostly women. Is this a function of the relative freedom of American women or a function of women's love of beads?
It is, however, West Africa that is most dominated by women dealers. When I tell Americans or Europeans that most dealers of any sort in West Africa are women they are often quite surprised. When I was last in Ghana the head of the Accra Chamber of Commerce was a woman and no one thought anything of it.
The dominance of women traders in West Africa has been transplanted to the Americas. Women run the majority of small African-American owned businesses in the US.
Small Bead Businesses | Beading & Beadwork | Ancient Beads | Trade Beads