Trade Bead Necklace TBA31 with Harpoon Head

Here’s a pretty Trade Bead necklace, TBA31, that celebrates the colors red and black, by Janet Walker.  I’ve created this necklace for the “Red and Black” show at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle this April.


Photo of Red and Black Trade Bead Necklace with Harpoon Head Pendant

Red and Black Trade Bead Necklace with Harpoon Head Pendant

From the Stonington Gallery posting;

“Red and Black. Color brings vitality and depth to any artwork, and imbues all materials with a fresh vibrancy. This is particularly true of the sacred colors of red and black, a combination that is graphic, bold, and timeless. The deep power of black and the cleansing peace of red make their mark all throughout the artwork of the Northwest Coast, used both in secret ceremony and the most modern design.”


The Trade Beads on this necklace are a combination of vintage Venetian fancies; “Spotted Skunks, Black with Red Stringers, and opaque “Reds”. Hudson’s Bay White Hearts are included with black Onyx and Czech’s.  These beads were typical and possibly actually used as payment for fur in the trading going on in the Pacific Northwest in the 1800’s.

The focal point of the necklace is the large Walrus Ivory beads and the exceptionally beautiful prehistoric Walrus Ivory Harpoon Head.

Archival photo of Inuit hunter in Kayak with Harpoon

Inuit hunter in Kayak with Harpoon

This Harpoon Head is at least 2000 – 6000 years old!  It was found washed out of the beach shale at Pt. Hope, Alaska by children who search for these artifacts for their summer money.  The harpoon was one of the most essential pieces of Inuit survival equipment. The harpoon head is attached to the shaft and designed to leave the shaft at the moment of impact into the Seal or animal that is being hunted.  The shaft never leaves the hunters hand and the head is attached to a line and remains in the animal so it can be caught.  This is all done from a kayak or on the ice.  It’s a pretty interesting piece of history all on a necklace.

Necklace designed and strung by Trade Bead artist, Janet Walker.


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