Wood beads have been around for years now. In the olden days, men did not have much to adorn themselves. The only things available were shells, bones, teeth and other found objects. In an attempt to look for new objects and ways to adorn themselves they were able to find good use of broken twigs and branches of trees. They were able to pick twigs from trees and turn them into wood beads which they could string together and wear as necklaces and bracelets. Over time, wood beads started gaining popularity and since they are completely natural, they are not just used for jewelry making today, but serve a number of other purposes as well.
Wood is easy to find. Basically, wherever there are trees, there are beads. You can make wooden beads on your own with just few simple tools or you can buy them from a local craft store or an online store. There are many varieties of these beads available today and many different types of trees can be used to obtain them. Even sandalwood trees are used to produce beads because they are fragrant and have a unique grain pattern. But, these are considered as special types of beads and tend to be more expensive than the regular beads.
Regional carvers and carpenters make use of readily available wood for making beads. Even apprentices, masters and journeymen use their spare time to carve beads from woods which makes for a huge variety of sizes, types and forms of wood beads. There are also many uses of wood beads. Let us look at what these are.
It was around 2400 BC when the abacus was first used by the Babylonians. In those times, the abacus was made out of pebbles and sand. However, in the first century, abacus made of beads was used in India and China. These abacuses were made from wooden beads. Other reports of first use of abacus suggest that they were made out of these kinds of beads as early as 300 BC in Greece or Rome. Till today, abacuses are made out of wooden beads.
In many cultures such as Asian and Indian, there are different types of wood beads which are used as prayer beads. For example, in the Indian culture, the Japa Mala is used for meditation and protection from the evil. The number of beads used in each mala also differs depending on the different cultures. Hindu Brahmanists and Buddhists use 27 beads in their Japa Mala.
These beads are famously used in men’s and women’s jewelry. Many different types of jewelry items such as necklaces and bracelets can be made using this type of bead. Even kids’ jewelry made from wooden beads is also available. Other uses of wood beads include scrapbooking, beadworking, craft projects and decorating.