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Bead of the Week

replicaEach of these precious beads is sold as a single bead, for $6.50* (or 20% less if you use your friends & fans discount, SAVE20). If you are interested in more or the whole set, please let us know!

These are modern handcrafted beads made in the tradition of ancient dZi beads (pronounced ZEE). Few beads are surrounded by as much myth and mystery as the dZi bead. The authentic/original etched agates are found in Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, and Nepal, and are believed to be about two thousand years old. Many legends accompany the beads- that they were not made by man but created by the gods, that they bring luck and ward off evil, that they protect the wearer from physical harm by taking the abuse upon themselves, and that the bead itself will choose its' owner and will not stay with an unlucky person. 

We actually acquired these in India, but we believe they are every bit as beautiful, with their rich Carnelian color and traditional etched designs. We have several in a variety of colors, so let us know if you want additional photos. If you purchase from this posting, you will receive one like that shown in the two close-up shots, unless you specify otherwise.

*PRICE JUST REDUCED!

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Bead for Life

We have been so inspired by the Bead for Life organization, a non-profit founded by three American women to create opportunities for impoverished women in Uganda. Through supported sales of paper beads produced by the women, the organization facilitates entrepreneurship that provides the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Founded by Torkin Wakefield, her daughter Devin Hibbard, and Ginny Jordan, all from Boulder, Colorado, the project finds markets for the colorful beads, now sold worldwide.

The beads are crafted from colorful recycled paper, and hand-rolled, each one unique with a story behind it. The women cut the paper into intricate long triangles which determines the shape and style of the bead. Beads are then sealed with an eco-friendly glaze, hung to dry in the warm Ugandan sun, and made into beautiful collections of jewelry. The finished collections are then sold online, through retail outlets, and at home bead parties, and range in price from $5 to $30.

To date, BeadforLife has reached over 20,000 people in almost 2,500 households, through its bead project, shea nut initiative, and youth education programs. Once in the 18-month bead-making program, women can earn 7 - 10 times more than before they entered the program, and earn more than an average teacher in Uganda. In addition to learning about making beads, the women learn entrepreneurial skills. They start savings accounts, and with guidance from the BeadforLife staff, they launch new businesses before they graduate so they are self-supporting into the future. During their enrollment in the bead-making program, they also receive literacy and numeracy training, as well as health care products like mosquito nets, deworming tablets and nutritional supplements.

The BeadforLife founders often reflect on the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

For more information on the BeadforLife programs and products, visit the Web site at www.BeadforLife.org.

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