I hate snakes (why no legs!?), but I love snake beads — they’re the actual name of those cool interlocking beads you’ve been seeing on a lot of jewelry lately. The beads have a rather troubling history: The decorative glass beads were used between the 16 and 20th centuries as a type of currency. They were used in exchange for goods and services, but also used to purchase slaves. The beads became especially pervasive as the European slave trade flourished, and the beads began to be manufactured across Europe, as a means of acquiring more slaves.
Soooo, there’s that.
But! Aside from their history as a trade item, they are really beautiful and colorful, and we’ve collected 12 awesome ways to wear ‘em.
1. Butik Snake Necklace, $29.99
2. Nirvana Beaded Bracelet Set, $190
3. Vanessa Mooney Fawn Bracelet, $40
4. Vanessa Mooney Fawn Necklace, $135
5. Mezo African Snake Beads, $36
6. Chevron Snake Bead Bracelet, $53.50
7. Turquoise Tribal Necklace, $48
8. Handcrafted Brass and Metal Snake Cut Bead Necklace, $65
9. Handcrafted Red African Snake Bead Necklace, $32
10. Boho Blue Snake Bead Earrings, $23
11. Snake Bead Bracelet With Onyx Bracelet, $40
12. Six Strand African Bead Necklace, $350