Who Are the Bead People?

A Bead Person in a nest

The hatching of The Bead People

The Bead People International peace project uses trays of beads and a story to teach tolerance, acceptance, and celebration of all people.

People fear what they do not know.  By developing the Bead People as an international sign of peace and celebration of our differences, we open a conversation that lets us into the lives of others.  Our plan is to establish a curriculum of connection using The Bead People project as a masthead.  Children or adults create a Bead Person and send it along with the Wind of a Thousand Years story to a person in another country or area different than theirs.  An exchange and a conversation are created as the person responds by making their own Bead Person from local beads and sending it back again.  Included would be an online journal (with translation) so partners could get to know each other.

The Bead People have already been to 17 countries (6500 of them), but this has all been an informal growth.  I want now to create a multi-generational curriculum, develop the student exchange structure, and begin the project formally.  This boost would get the project off the ground.  The Bead People Curriculum of Connection could be developed for all ages from K through adult.  The goal is communication across the race, language, and cultural barriers that we experience.  We are already doing projects for schools and youth and adult groups, but I want to create a formal structure and get it rolling.

Possible community partner include schools, churches, youth organizations, social awareness groups, seniors.

We established The Bead People International as a South Dakota nonprofit but have not taken it further.

I am a student of human behavior and have always been curious and concerned about why people fight wars instead of fighting for peace.  I think that in order to move from the more instinctual hind-brain to the more elegant frontal lobes, we need to develop higher level skills with conscious effort on our part.  We need to choose peace–war is what happens when we allow the low brain to rule. The Bead People project embodies this process and has built into it the solution–creating something beautiful and symbolic.  Again and again when I set out trays of bead, a metamorphosis happens.  We become entranced with creation and peace is the result.

I have been a communications trainer, a writer, an educator, and a scholar of human behavior.  Although the Wind story that follows the Bead People is very simple, it contains complex humor, a message, a far view, and a solution.  In a world where so many heavy messages come our way on a daily basis, I like the fun and light sharing that comes with The Bead People.  Again, it embodies who I am and what I believe we can do when we come together.

I have been slowly building a small network of other people who are doing Bead People Projects.  Formalizing a structure and a curriculum will lead a clearer path into how they can help build our project.  Right now there are about eight of us directly involved.

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