Collection: Out of Indonesia - Java

Indonesias beadmaking industry is thriving

Glass and stone beads were first introduced to Indonesia by Chinese and Indian traders a number of centuries before the Christian era started 2000 years ago.

Initially, the Indonesians were influenced by the craftsmen from the Indian subcontinent who had already mastered the skills required to make beads, until they developed their own style of beadmaking.

Today, Indonesia’s beadmaking industry is thriving – with huge quantities of glass, resin, bone, stone and silver beads being shipped to the four corners of the globe from Java and other regions.

In Borneo – in the Sarawak and Kalimantan regions, beadmaking is the lifeblood of the Dayak people – utilising clay, shells and animal teeth. They then trade with the Chinese for  glass and porcelain beads.

The Island of Bali is also an important region for beadmaking – in particular for the production of sterling silver metal beads.

The Balinese use the same techniques found in India, Morocco, Vietnam, Nepal and South America – where dozens of silver granulation balls are soldered on to the metal bead shapes which creates the hallmark of modern Balinese beads.

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