Bead-making is a Krobo cultural tradition that dates back more than one hundred years. Beads are made by men, women, boys and girls. The beads are usually showcased at traditional events such as chieftaincy ceremonies, infant-naming ceremonies, traditional weddings and puberty rites. Beads are also worn at funerals, and can be worn for personal beautification.
While the tradition is clearly important, the trade is now dominated by wealthy urban merchants, and rural traditionalists are being left behind. Presently, bead-makers in rural areas use mud stoves and work beneath thatched roof structures around their homes. The rainy season often destroys the raw materials and equipment used by these beaders, drastically reducing their productivity. The importance of the tradition and the desire for a better working environment has encouraged bead-making groups in a village in Ghana to seek support. With the construction of a permanent structure for work, bead makers will be able to work together in a centralized, collaborative environment throughout the year. These experience bead-makers will also conduct lessons for youth in the area, ensuring the continuation of the bead-making tradition in this village.
The structure will also contain a storage room that will allow artisans to display their works for visitors to see. Students will be able to display their work as well, and any sales will help them pay their school bills, which is a challenge for many area children.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.