The art of adorning objects with intricate patterns of beads began hundreds of years ago. In the West it started mainly with the Plains Indians in the mid 1800's. Prior to that they mostly used porcupine quills, shells, wood beads and natural elements. With the spread of the european immigrant, the introduction of glass bead created a new evolution to their design. In fact they were used as a practical trading currency in the American Old West. The art of loomed beading blossomed and adorned everything from dresses, jackets and day wear to whip handles and eating utensils. The trend continues today in jewelry and accessories and has experienced a bit of a comeback with the new bohemian style. Up your style and indulge yourself in a new gorgeous beaded necklace or loomed native belt. It may even have a personalized name or thunderbird on it. It will up your coolness factor and give you that relaxed western vibe that everyone wants to emulate.