It can be difficult to find a bead producer in the Ashanti Region; in fact, there is only one known place that produces beads, which is the village of Asuofie.
The process starts with the village buying empty glass bottles from various breweries around the country.
After that, the bottles are crushed into a fine dust, which is also where the colouring comes from. Smashing a blue bottle will result in making a blue bead, and the same goes for any other colour.
That power is then placed in stone with little holes punched in it, which is a bead form.
Finally, the stones are taken to a kiln to be baked. It takes about 30 minutes to heat the kiln up and another 30 to bake the powder into a bead.
There are about 70 people that live in the village of Asuofie, and every person works at the bead factory, called Asamang Co-op. The factory can produce about 3,000 or more beads per month depending on how many people they have working.
Mame German is the main person behind the operation. She took it over from her mother.
“I started when I was 30,” said German. “And I have been doing this for 37 years now.”
Unfortunately, the only kiln in the village, which is in the back of the shop, is currently broken, so they cannot produce any new beads.
Unfortunately, the only kiln in the village, in the back of the shop, is currently out of order, so bead production has ceased to a halt.
Currently, the village is selling older beads with impressive stories behind them to visitors, which may or may not be true.
“These beads were made by my mother,” said German, holding up a few bead necklaces. She later added that everything in that particular section were all products that were produced by her mother.
Regardless, most of the visitors there that day still purchased the items that the shop had out to sell.