Recycled glass bead production is predominantly done by the Krobo people who live in the south-eastern part of Ghana,occupying the eastern lower foothills of the Akwapim ranges and spread beyond the mountains to the east and west, reaching parts of the Volta River estuaries in the Eastern Region. Major towns in this region include Kpong, Agomanya, Somanya, Dodowa , Manya-Krobo, Odumase-Krobo and Akuse.
Bead making among the Krobo is highly regarded and one can find several micro and medium production plants located in Krobo towns, villages and hamlets. Bead making involved people of all ages. Many people in this area learn bead making skills from childhood from family members engaged in the trade and some proceed further by engaging in apprenticeships.
The recycled glass industry in Ghana is thriving at the moment. There is renewed interest in these products both at home and abroad. Young and old people in Ghana have renewed pride in wearing jewellery made from these beads. There is also renewed interest among Africans living in the Diaspora. Producers of these beads in Ghana are innovative in coming up with new designs for the beads to maintain interest. Sometimes different techniques of bead making are combined to produce a fascinating combination of colours and textures which is of great interest to bead lovers.
The bead industry faces significant challenges from imported beads made in China and other places where they can be produced much more cheaply than using the techniques described above. The innovation and dedication of bead makers in Ghana however continues to help them to hold their own despite these significant challenges.
Your support in purchasing genuine traditionally made beads from Ghana goes a long way to support the producers to come up with new and innovative designs and to continue to make a living.