Re: Arizona Highways - July 1971
Re: Arizona Highways Mag. July 1971 "Glass Indian Trade Beads" PDF -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
06/20/2020, 14:49:45

In 1971 a sweet lady in my church gave me this magazine. I had been working with and collecting beads for four years at that time. I was also best friends with an American Indian woman (Sioux) who was taking her PhD in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. I/we read the article several times, and likewise discussed it. Together, these were life-changing. My interest in Native American cultures increased, and my interest in beads (apart from seedbeads—because at that time I did more beadwork than anything else) diversified in multiple ways. I became a fan of chevron beads, that I had mostly ignored previously—and they remain a primary area of interest, collecting, and study. I coveted a red one (that I finally got fourteen years later). And, of course, it was my first exposure to some beads whose names and "history" have become commonplace.

A few points about the article.

First, it includes some garbled information that is inaccurate. (Not a big surprise, nearly fifty years later.) And also some information has been misconstrued and has affected popular bead-collecting ideas. Noteably the story of "Hubbell beads" has been widely erroneously repeated, but has been solved. Likewise, and similarly, the story of "padre beads" has been a source of frustration and consternation ever since that time. And was compounded after 1987 when Africans (having read The History of Beads) began selling all turquoise-blue glass beads as "padre beads." And eventually, similar beads of other colors.

Next, there is a belief, that may be unfounded, that all of the beads included are "Indian trade beads." And this may be what the authors believed. But, just because old beads are sourced in the American SW region (in "Indian country"), this does not necessarily mean that those beads were previously in the hands of Indian people. Though many probably were.

What happened to the Sorensen Collection?

Oddly, on three occasions I have been told "I bought the Sorensen Collection" by different people. What this means is that more than one person has some portion of those beads. I know for a fact that Gabrielle Liese (Founder of The Bead Museum), had the largest share—because we went over the beads, compared them to each photo from the article, and I photographed them. (With Gabrielle, I pulled these beads out of the box they came in.) Gabrielle had been in touch with Sorensen for quite a long time, because she was working on the issues involved with "Hubbell beads." I think she had the inside track when it came to acquiring these beads when they were offered for sale.

These are my thoughts at the moment. Jamey

Modified by Beadman at Sat, Jun 20, 2020, 14:51:01

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