We are proud to announce the publication of our first books:
Silver Speaks Naga Tribal AdornmentBead Timeline

Silver Speaks:
Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East

Photographs by Robert K. Liu,
text by Joyce Diamanti.

Full color, 48 pages with soft cover.

Washington DC: Bead Society of Greater Washington.
Price: $19.95, $14.95 for BSGW Members.

Wholesale orders (10 copies min.) are welcome-
inquire at The Bead Museum,202-624-4500.

CLICK HERE to order the book
note: requires Acrobat Reader

This handsomely illustrated publication of the Bead Society of Greater Washington serves as a companion book to the exhibition "Silver Speaks: Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East," co-curated by Ellen N. Benson and Marjorie Ransom, shown at The Bead Museum in Washington, D.C., October 27, 2002, to August 26, 2003. The book extends the show's reach and enhances understanding of the rich cross-cultural heritage represented in these age-old forms of personal adornment. More than 50 photographs by Dr. Robert K. Liu, co-editor of Ornament magazine render in exquisite detail the beauty and diversity of traditional jewelry from Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt. Drawn from the collection of Marjorie Ransom, who assembled the pieces over three decades as a student
and diplomat in the Arab world, these eloquent silver ornaments are an enduring testament to a way of life that is disappearing in the rapidly evolving Middle East.

The book presents these treasures in the context of that traditional way of life. Author Joyce Diamanti tells the story of the women who wore them and the men who made them-Muslims, Jews, and Christians-people who lived settled lives in cities, towns, and villages, as well as itinerant traders and craftsmen, and nomadic bedouin who roamed these arid regions in search of pasture for their herds. In surveying local and regional jewelry traditions, she examines the many exotic influences that throughout history have impacted and shaped personal adornment in this crossroads of continents and cultures.

In a perceptive curator's statement, Ellen Benson looks at the Silver Speaks exhibition and companion book as significant firsts in the continuum of the Society's and the Museum's longstanding interest in ethnic jewelry as manifested in earlier exhibits and educational programs. She seeks to
foster appreciation of this silver folk jewelry by placing Middle Eastern traditions of personal adornment within the larger field of Islamic ornamentation and culture.

In the Introduction, Shelagh Weir, former curator at the British Museum and presently a Senior Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, focuses on the many functions this jewelry once had in the lives of women in the Middle East, where it could proclaim a woman's marital status, assert her ethnic identity, display her family's wealth, providing her financial security, enhance her feminine allure, promote her health, and protect her from misfortune. In two textual contributions, Robert Liu covers tools, materials, and techniques used by Middle Eastern silversmiths and examines recurring shapes and patterns in traditional silver jewelry and the meanings of these motifs.

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Naga Tribal Adornment:
Signatures of Status and Self

by Ayinla Shilu Ao
Robert K.Liu, PhD., photographer

48 pps; 43 color images; map
ISBN 0-9725066-2-4

Washington DC: Bead Society of Greater Washington.
Price: $19.95, $14.95 for BSGW Members.
Wholesale orders (10 copies min.) are welcome-
inquire at The Bead Museum,202-624-4500.

CLICK HERE to order the book
note: requires Acrobat Reader

Naga traditional adornment exhibits a variety, profusion and complexity of beads and natural elements – rarely found in tribal Asian, or even African societies – that combine to create a vibrant, distinctive aesthetic. For time immemorial, among the many distinct Naga Tribes, ornaments were not merely accessories, but powerful symbols that defined both the self individually and within the tribe, connoted status and signified marital exploits. Social change brought to this remote, rugged, northeast corner of India by British and then Indian rule, Christian missionaries, and Western education, gradually eroded their perceived relevance. As modern Nagas seek a renewed sense of who they are, they are embracing the past to shape the future. Naga Tribal Adornment complements an exhibition of the same name at The Bead Museum of Washington D.C., the first public showing of material drawn from the Harry L. and Tiala Marsosang Neufeld Collection, perhaps the largest private holding of traditional Naga art and artifacts.


Volume I: Prehistory to 1200 CE

An informative new resource for the study of beads
in their cultural and historical context

This four-color, 100-page book by Dr. James W. Lankton covers beads from the Paleolithic/Neolithic transition 12,000 years ago to the Islamic period leading up to 1200 CE, as illustrated in the Bead Timeline collection on permanent exhibit at The Bead Museum in Washington, D.C. Complementing the text, 76 color photographs by Dr. Robert K. Liu show panoramic views of the exhibit panels as well as close-ups. In guest essays, Dr. J. Mark Kenoyer focuses on The Technology and History of Stone Beadmaking, and Joyce Diamanti explores Beads, Trade, and Cultural Change. Following the main text, the most recent Timeline gifts from Jeanette and Jonathan Rosen are featured. A review of bead-related websites and discussion groups by Deborah Zinn, five maps, a reference bibliography, and an index add to the usefulness of this volume.
This publication provides an introduction to early beads, drawing on the Museum’s Bead Timeline collection for examples. For readers interested in more information on allthe individual beads in the exhibit, a separately published CD-ROM will describe the beads on the Timeline in detail.

Volume I published in June, 2003, available
at $24.95 per copy, plus $5 shipping,*
or at $14.97 per copy in orders of 10 or more for resale, plus $8 shipping,*
or at $18.75 (25% discount) for BSGW members.

CLICK HERE to order the book:
note: requires Acrobat Reader



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