Dutch traders of New Amsterdam began importing glass beads into the North American colonies during the first half of the 17th century. Primarily made in Holland and Italy, the beads were used for trade and exchange between Europeans and Native Americans. This imitation wampum was produced on a large scale, much faster than Native Americans could make their shell beads. Glass beads soon flooded the colonies and gradually robbed Native Americans of control over their own form of currency. This assortment shows rounded glass beads and longer, uncut tubular beads.
Date: 1660 - 1677