When I think of beauty, I think about beads. Beads can fit in any context of beauty. Interestingly, beads are designed in avariety of mix to entice the consumers. There are; long beads, thin, round, small, and large beads. Some beads are worn as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
“Beads are best described as style fascinations,” says Anita Umutoniwase, who sells jewellery in Kigali’s commercial centre (Kwa Rubangura).
Once you are into to beads, it’s almost apparent that you are likely to spend big sums of money on them. It is like getting addicted to drugs—some people have even bought them in plenty, and wear them in dozens.
“Beaded jewellery has been getting noticeable compliments in recent days. They are so attractive, and designed in different styles, colours and sizes to flatter the wearer,” says one Bizimungu, a shop attendant in town.
However, there is a view that it’s always the fashion designers and celebrities who introduce new trends in fashion. They instead modify old fabrics into new and more fashionable trends to match with the season.
The history of beads can be traced back to the previous recessions of the 20th century. The trend was first introduced in the 1930s depression, when women said they wanted to cheer themselves up by looking trendy in the downturn.
To create a subtle, yet sophisticated look, beaded jewellery must match with the attire, and then with the make-up if possible.
Beads play an important role in the African culture. Indeed two key functions of beads in traditional African culture are worthy to mention. There are different types of beads and every bead has its own meaning. How it came into existence, what it represents, its healing properties, and the mystique behind it.
Africans have always loved beads. According to the tradition of beads, they have survived the centuries, and have gathered a wealth of history. For example, the romance and mystery around them.
In Rwanda, like elsewhere in many other African societies, beads have for long been known to be one of the traditional treasures of accessories that add to the overall look of a woman.
But today, brides during marriages, as well as other women and girls, are always known to wear jewellery as a prime accessory whether they are attending any event, or at home. It’s actually one of the basics that they can hardly go without.
Benita Ikirezi, 29, a student at the School of Finance and Banking says beads are loved by many people, because they add extra beauty and elegance. The trend is not for ladies only. Men too wear them.