Ref. Number: 1063

Country: Indonesia - Sumatra

Period: 7th to 12th Cent.

Indo Pacific Beads from Sumatra

Indo-Pacific Glass Beads of Indian manufacture found throughout Southeast Asia attest to the growing trade between these countries. Indian Bead makers settled in the Southeast Asia region in the first century A.D.  The beadmakers were unlikely to have been anyone other than southern Indians, either Tamils or Pandukal people. They would not have taught the craft to anyone else, because it was the basis of their livelihood. Nor it is a easy transferable technique. Indo-Pacific beadmaking was probably a well guarded secret.

Indo-Pacific Glass Beads are small, monochrome drawn (cut from a tube) beads are found at archaeological sites in Indonesia. These beads were made by a unique method developed in South India several centuries B.C. It is still in use. They have been found at Palembang [Sumatra, Indonesia], the capital of Srivijaya, where they were certainly made

Glass beads also had an important role in the famous spice trade. The beads were not traded for spices, but were used as gifts to cement deals and as rewards for good work.

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