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In Africa, trade beads were brought by Europeans mostly from Venice to West Africa. Europeans used African trade beads in exchange for services and goods, such as palm oil, gold, and ivory.
The trade with Africa was successful because Africans placed a high value on decorative items, and used beads as a currency, as a measurement of wealth, and to show status in society.
Trade beads were made from different materials in different styles, such as seeds, shells, clay, glass, stone, wood, minerals and metals. African trade beads include Chevron trade beads, Millefiori trade beads, Ghana Krobo beads, feather trade beads, striped melon trade beads and king eye beads.