Bead work is the art or craft of attaching beads to one another by stringing them with a sewing needle or beading needle and thread or thin wire, or sewing them to cloth. Beads come in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes. Beads are used to create jewelry or other articles of personal adornment; they are also used in wall hangings and sculpture and many other artworks.
Bead work techniques are broadly divided into loom and off-loom weaving, stringing, bead embroidery, bead crochet, bead knitting, and bead tatting.
Beads, made of durable materials, survive in the archaeological record appearing with the very advent of modern man, Homo sapiens.
Beads are used for religious purposes, as good luck talismans, for barter, and as curative or medicinal agents.