Mediterranean Coral Beads
Coral has long been part of myth and magic for tribal peoples. The most highly prized is brilliant red Italian Coral. Used as an amulet against the evil eye, it became a significant trade commodity by the mid-13th century. Great Eurasian caravans started what would eventually become known as 'The Silk Route' that brought Coral to Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tibet, Mongolia and India.
The first recorded history of Coral in the Americas comes from the Spaniard, Juan de Onate, who wrote in 1604, "...the Yuma Indians are the ones who bring coral from the sea, calling it 'Quacame.' In the provinces of the Zunis there is more and it is bartered." Italian Coral was first introduced to Native Americans by the Spaniards in the 17th century. At the dawn of the 19th century, Italian coral had become firmly established as one of the most sought-after trade items among the Pueblo Indians and, later, among the Navajos.
Today, natural Coral of good quality is virtually unavailable. The Coral in this section represents Coral that Cocopah collected over the past thirty years. We will not be able to restock these beads.