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Original Message:   Re: A Mandela bead ?
Beads historically reflected hierarchies in many cultures. Mandela was not very enamored with some hierarchies and is probably at the forefront of a new long term trend of democratization , politically and economically in the world.. If we are going to look at hierarchies in a different manner how are beads going to fit in ? I consider the Chinese bead production to be largely dead. Technically they are wonderful but the beads seem meaningless , totally divorced from any culture other than a commercial culture. I love old beads as well but they are in a way foreign , a hand reaching from the past that we cannot quite grasp culturally. What I am wondering is : Can we make new bead styles that have cultural as well as aesthetic significance ? I would love to see a universally desired bead type named after Mandela. It would prove to me that we still care about beads as a living tradition that includes a new vision on the meaning of contemporary beads . Paradigm shifts only occur in living , vibrant cultural realms and I hope that the living bead tradition can make that shift and become more than decoration again.
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