Padre beads are glass beads whose origin is traced back to ancient China. In the late 18th century, these beads spread rapidly in use in Southwest and Northwest America, following the trading patterns of Russian and Spanish traders.
Padre beads were available in 3 sizes:
- jumbo Dogons measuring 5/8’s to ¾ inches in diameter;
- mid-sized Crow beads measuring 3/8’s inches in diameter, and the
- small Pony beads measuring 3/16’s inches in diameter.
Padre beads were available in a variety of colors, with blue and white being most valuable historically and the only ones acceptable for trade amongst the Indians.