|Please Pursue Names|
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Since you have an interest in beads, and direct contact with your people, perhaps you would be in a position to record and document actual beads, plus the names and stories associated with them. If this is information that is largely oral, but is fading from memories now, you could preserve whatever information persists before it is gone forever. If you can interview a chieftain, perhaps he will be a good source of information. But do not discount the enthusiasm of old people who love beads and would enjoy sharing their stories.
I encountered this at the Borneo International Beads Conference in 2010—where some participants were documenting family treasures, and told some of the stories associated with particular beads.
We will never know everything. But it is possible to preserve whatever is known, if someone decides to pursue this idea.
Good luck. Jamey