Fulani trade beads are a particular type of glass beads probably made in Bohemia (which is modern day Slovakia and the Czech Republic) in the late 1800s or early 1900s and were traded to the Fulani Tribe in Africa. The Fulani were one of the dominating cultures of all of West Africa but colonization put an end to their empire, resulting in the scattered nature of the Fulani today. They value colorful beaded jewelry and body ornamentation above most African peoples. Since they are nomadic, the Fulani produce a very limited range of art objects and purchase or trade for materials for subsequent use. Fulani trade beads are one of a few trade beads that have survived a hundred or more years of wear and the travel through at least three continents.
Now Fulani trade beads are more popular and collectable than ever. They have played an important role throughout the Fulani tribe. Different types of Fulani beads are now in private collections around the world. The African Traders are having to go deeper and deeper into Africa to find more of these beads and many styles which were readily available just 5 years ago are no longer seen today.
The size and shape of Fulani trade beads varies from tube to spherical shaped. Fulani people used these beads as necklace, pendants, earring, bracelets, waist-belt, and other body ornaments. Genuine old Fulani trade beads can still be found in this day and age with luck.