Beads and Pendants of the Americas A Tribute to the
National Museum of the American Indian

In salute of the National Museum of American Indian, The Bead Museum will present a select showing of beads and pendants made and worn by indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Jasper and carnelian beads, Tairona people,
Colombia, circa 1400 CE

Trade beads and pendants,
circa 1500's - 1800's CE



After an acclaimed year-long run, Naga Tribal Adornment: Signatures of Status and Self an the Museum will close on December 12th. An impressive exhibit co-curated by Ellen Benson and Christine Brown featuring the magnificent collection of Tiala and Harry Neufeld, it will continue to delight and inform others through a traveling exhibit that Harry is organizing. It will also be extended to the public through BSGW's four-color catalogue written by Ayinla Ao available at the Museum Store.

The Museum will be dark December 15 to 22 to take down the Naga exhibition and install The Universal Bead: How It Unites Us All, which will open for a preview on December 23rd along with Holiday Jewelry Sale for last minute shoppers who want unique ethnic and contemporary works of art at affordable prices.


Have you ever wondered what fascinates us all about the bead, the world over, in every walk of life?
Do you know what makes cultures across the world prize this tiny, mighty object?
Do beads satisfy fundamental needs? Which ones? Why?
To find answers, come explore with the Museum's 11th major exhibit that will open informally on Thursday, December 23rd, where gorgeous Native American powwow and Ghanaian chiefs' regalia; Buddhist, Islamic, Israeli, and Christian prayer strands; Nepali Hill Tribe, Fifth Avenue wedding attire and lovingly sewn beaded wear from a mid-European bride's Pretty Room, to mention only a few, and images from World On A String, a forthcoming four-part video series by Diana Friedberg, will show how beads figure importantly in our livelihoods, fashion, status, faith, health, identity, spirit, individuality, commonality, and unites us all, the world over. In the spring, BSGW will hold an East Coast Gala Premiere of the video.

Bead Museum hours
Wed. - Sat.: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sundays: 1 to 4 p.m., or
By appointment: 202-624-4500
Closed December 15 - 22 for installations
Open December 23rd, 11 a,m, to 4 p.m. for
The Universal Bead: How It Unites Us All
Preview and Holiday Sale at the Museum Store
Closed December 24 through January 1, 2005

Contact us via e-mail at:

return to home page