When the Inspiration Comes, It pours!

After staring at blank pages in my sketch book, being to scared to touch it and ruin the crisp blank pages with my ideas. I decided to look at the beads as a currency, there use for purchasing items such as traditional African fabrics and how I can recreate some of those bright, detailed patterns. Then I looked at the purchase of food and how Africa is commonly shown as being a place of poverty with images of children starving. After, I think I have finally got a decent flow of inspiration for this cultures project. I was researching about beads and African beads and how they were made, when I came across the name ” Slave Beads” I had heard it before, in the museum. So I decided to research, what slave beads actually were. I came across a site, http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20Trade%20Beads%20Slave%20Beads%20African%20Currency.htm which spoke about the beads being a currency, which I had already found out from a museum, but also told me Europeans used these beads to purchase Africans as slaves hence the name slave beads. I found this a little upsetting, as I couldn’t grasp, how any one would trade a bead for a human soul. But the beads were a symbol of status and could ward of evil spirits. As well, as something a king could wear. Then its a little easier to understand, as these beads had a very high importance to the African culture. It then made me think about how this must of made the slaves feel. how would I feel if a bead was worth more then myself. I would hate it, something usually used to decorate and look beautiful. Have been used to chain a person to a live of slavery and misery. Which gave me the image of some one being chained in beads, something once a symbol of status, is now a symbol of Slavery. I am going to carry on my project looking at ways to create styles that can fully represent the darker side of these beads, rather then just there normal beauty that every one sees.

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