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Slave Beads

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It is a journey full of beauty and enriching beautiful encounters that encourage us to reflect and look back on ourselves. Africa is big and steeped in history. But the story that touched me is that of "slave beads". These pearls are an important testimony to this incredible history because at their very beginning, they were used as a currency of exchange for the various traffics of the time.

Brought in by wrecked boats, these washed-up pearls were used to keep the boat balanced; piled up in the holds (ballast), they prevented the boat from dumping.

These old beads, made in Murano, for the most part, are magnificent for their unique colors and patterns.

These pearls “symbol of freedom” are very dear sentimentally in the eyes of Africans. Today, Guyanese have been reproducing these beads for several years and these beads are all made in an artisanal way with recycled glass and painted by hand. makes unique pieces, full of character and SO Original has brought back a beautiful collection.

Good news

I have created for So Original a magnificent collection of jewelry for men and women in honor of the black history and our love for these warm and generous people.

Working with Assan (jeweler) was a pleasure


It all started with a story that touched me deeply during our recent trip to Senegal. I have said it and I will repeat myself, this trip was enriching with beautiful encounters.

The African continent is large and steeped in history. And the story that captivated me is that of the "slave beads" which, at their very beginning, served as currency for the various types of the traffic of the time, particularly that of the slave trade.

They are still found in the markets of Africa, but you have to learn to recognize the true from the false. These pearls are called MIllefiore (“thousand flowers”) and they are very recognizable by their mosaic of small flowers.

If these pearls could tell ... They traveled with the Portuguese, they bought stopovers, gold, and spices.

And then, brought by wrecked boats, piled up in the holds (ballast), these pearls which were used to keep the boat's balance were washed up by the sea.

These pearls "symbol of freedom" are very dear sentimentally in the eyes of Africans. They are still found in the African markets, but we must learn to recognize the true from the false.

We met Mr. Asan, antique dealer, son of an antique dealer, and very great connoisseur of glass beads. A very pleasant and productive meeting that allowed us to learn to differentiate real pearls from others. Mr. Asan was able to authenticate part of our glass beads.

SO Original therefore brought back in its luggage real pearls and others made today by the Guyanese in an artisanal way and painted by hand.

We had promised to create a collection of jewelry from these glass beads. Thing promised, done!