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. Keep reading »