The Most Colorful African Beads: Mali Wedding Beads

by African Beads on September 29, 2009

People often ask me, “What are the most colorful African beads?” The answer is simple: Mali Wedding Beads. In one strand of these beautiful African wedding beads, you will find beads varying in up to 40 different colors, shapes, and designs.

These handmade beads are said to be given to brides on their wedding days. Most were originally Czech-made, and traded in Africa. They can be up to 100 years old, but are often newer.

Mali Wedding beads make great for beading projects on a tight budget. Although one strand can run between $50 and $100, the diversity that runs in these beads will give you plenty or room to work with. My friend, Suzie, made 16 unique items out of just one strand of these spectacular beads!

These beads most commonly come in a light bulb shape, but also come in tear-drop shape, triangle shape, and others. What have you made using Mali wedding beads? Email me photos of your creations using Mali Wedding beads, and I’ll post them up here with a link to your Etsy store or website!



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  • ann r. davis

    I fell in love with these beads and other African beads after a trip to Ghana and love creating bold and colorful jewelry.

  • Beaded Bracelets

    Making jewelry is an interesting craft to pursue, and when beginning any new hobby or craft, it is often best to start slow and allow yourself a chance to grow into it at your own pace.

  • Jagatguru Kripalu ji Maharaj

    Yeah this is truly the most colorful African beads ever.  Solid blog showing such unique and antique stuffs!

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