Although many beaded aprons from the coastal area of the Guianas are among the oldest preserved collected objects of the South American lowlands, there is still no general consensus as to who the manufacturers of these aprons were. The glass beads used differ from those typically employed at the end of the 19th century and can be dated between 1750 and 1850. In the literature and museums, these aprons are not frequently described in detail, and the author is not aware of any early object for which a collector has provided more detailed information. This article is intended to give an overview of the aprons collected in early times and now found in museum collections, examining their patterns and bead materials, and reconstructing their origins with the help of literary sources from the 16th to 20th centuries.
The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.
"Beaded Aprons of the Coastal Peoples of the Guianas."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
31: 21-38. Available at:
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