Stunning Pieces Of Bead Wizardry Detroit’s MBAD African Bead Museum Is A Gem

on August 20, 2013

African Bead Museum

These days, there are museums for just about everything. From cars to planes to automobiles to chocolate and Jell-O, if you are a fan of something, there is almost certainly a repository for you to further educate yourself on the subject of your passion.

With that being said, there are certainly some museums that cover more important subject matter than others. A great example of this is the MBAD African Bead Museum (6559 Grand River Ave. Detroit MI) in Detroit.

The African Bead Museum builds and organizes collections of beads, beadworks, textiles, sculptures and other cultural relics which are meant to recognize the African people’s material culture.

The Museum is curated and solely owned by Olayami Dabls, an artist and historian who has lectured on the subject of African Material Culture to audiences around the world for over 30 years. Dabls is also a founding member of the African American Sports Hall of Fame.

The Detroit artifact center is the fourth African bead museum to open in the United States. Some of its oldest objects are more than 400 years old. In addition to the beads that carry with them a significant degree of cultural significance, there are also books on African history and culture as well as other objects crafted from ivory and silver.

The outside of the museum is a sight to see in and of itself, as it its exterior is laced with stunningly bright and colorful African paintings, complemented with mirror fragments.

Dabl is known as being one of the friendlist people in Detroit and is more than happy to give visitors a tour of his studio.

If you’re not doing anything this weekend, you should give the African Bead Museum a try. You just might learn something.

For more information, visit