Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ornaments KAREN

Beads : Sgaw women and girls wear multiple strands of small beads which hang anywhere from mid-chest to waist length, favoring red, white and yellow. Pwo women, on the other hand, wind extremely long strings of beads around the throat and down to mid-chest. These are mostly black. Young Pwo bachelors wear bead chokers, and on special occasions multiple strands of longer beads as well. The Karen use an astonishing variety of beads. Many wear small glass seed-beads used as barter by European traders centuries ago. Others are Chinese glass beads, and no doubt some are from India and other Asian and European countries. Tiny pierced beads are made from coconut shells cut out with metal tools by a technique known by the Karen for hundreds of years. These feather-light beads become very dark and shiny with use.

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