This multi-strand bead necklace is made by hand by the Maasai women in Kenya. No two are exactly alike, making each piece a truly unique work of art!
- Approximately 22-inches long.
Maasai beadwork embodies the whole of Maasai culture representing beauty, strength, tradition, warriorhood, social status and their deep love and devotion for their cattle. The age old artform is practiced by women of the village who learn from their mothers, who learned from their mothers. The women take small glass beads that are laid out on trays and string onto clear threading. From here the designs and beauty explode to create bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.
Did you know each color has a symbolic meaning for the tribe?
- Red stands for bravery, unity and blood. The red is for the slaughtered cow.
- White is for the peace, purity and health.
- Blue, signifies the energy and the sky. They believe that with the rainfall it is able to feed their cattle’s and provide proper infrastructure for them.
- Orange and Yellow reflect hospitality. Visitors are served cow’s milk from orange gourds.
- Green like the earth symbolizes health and land.
- Black represents the people and the struggles they endure.
All jewelry is crafted by women of the Maasai tribe in rural Kenya. Fair Trade.
Meet The Artisans
Working with more than 100 individual carvers in Machakos, Kenya, Jedando Modern Handicrafts markets African handicrafts primarily made of wood and bone worldwide. Carving is a tradition in Kenya with the children learning the craft from their parents. Carved by hand using only rudimentary hand tools, olive wood bowls, salad serving sets, and animal-shaped napkin rings take shape from pieces of olive wood, mahogany, and mpingo, or "African Ebony."
An integral part of the organization's function is to educate the craftspeople on the need for reforestation to enable the products to be available for years to come and offer a sustainable income for generations. While wood carving provides the major income for many in the Machakos area, other craftspeople earn a living by further enhancing the products including painting the napkin rings and carving discarded animal bone for the handles of salad serving sets. Often the bone is "batiked" by placing wax on the white bone and dipping the bone a dark brown/black dye, resulting in patterns African mud cloth designs.