147 Drawn Beads

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Object Name: 
147 Drawn Beads
Accession Number: 
75.1.9
Dimensions: 
Overall L (closed and looped): 11.8 cm; Smallest Bead H: 0.1 cm, W: 0.1 cm; Largest Bead H: 1.1 cm, W: 1.2 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
200-799
Web Description: 
The production of Indo-Pacific beads spread to a handful of sites in Southeast Asia following their initial development in southern India. By the early part of the first century A.D., they were being made in four locations outside Arikamedu: Mantai, Sri Lanka; Oc Eo, Vietnam; Khlong Thom or Khuan Lukpad, Thailand; and Kuala Selinsing, Malaysia. At that time, trade had already been established between India and Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia was dependent upon India not only for goods but also for ideas about society and culture. Indo-Pacific beads were probably crafted in Southeast Asia by Indian glassmakers who had relocated there, rather than by indigenous beadmakers who had adopted the difficult technique by which the beads were fashioned. Production later spread to five other sites in Southeast Asia and India, and Indo-Pacific beads continued to be made and traded into the second millennium A.D. These opaque red beads were found in an archaeological site in Kuala Selinsing. Their similarity to early examples from India demonstrates how this knowledge of production was transferred through various ports and other sites within Southeast Asia.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Lamb, Alastair, Source
1975-03-31
Category: 
Color: 
Technique: 
Material: 
Primary Description: 
Small red opaque beads, cylinders and shorts.
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 18-19, no. 9;