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African trade beads came about as a result of the need for traders along the route between Europe and Africa for a currency to trade with the Africans. Beads fitted here as the most appropriate medium of exchange due to the affinity that African people had for various types of beads. The trade beads were therefore used for purposes of battering goods of value from the peoples of Africa such as ivory, gold, palm oil and slaves. The history of African trade beads dates as far back as the fifteenth century with the coming of the Portuguese.Click to read more at our About African Bead Blog