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Trade Beads - Universal Currency

9:00a to 9:45a
Sun, September 17, 2023
Emily Byrd
(361) 645-3405

Colorful beads played a huge role as Europeans began exploring new places and encountering unknown groups of people.

Jewelry and trade have been staples of human culture for about as long as we've been around. When people started traveling across oceans, they needed a trade item that would be universally appreciated. Glass beads quickly proved to be a valuable trade item, and these beads went on to play a crucial role in relations between Europeans and Native Americans.

Learn how tiny glass beads became so important to European exploration, and if you'd like, make your own bead bracelet!

Program takes place on the mission porch.

Program is free with park entrance ($4 per person, free for kids 12 & under).