Maasai Jewellery Inspiration May 28 2014, 0 Comments
One of the hottest trends for this summer is African design; you may have already seen pictures of model Olivia Palermo wearing these beautiful Maasai necklaces!
The very colourful beads give your outfit more elegance and joie de vivre but what is less known is that these beads are the result of an enormous work effort by the women of the Maasai tribe. These women are not only in charge of most of the physical work of the village during the day, but in the evenings they are dedicated to making the colourful beads, which is why very often, if you hold a piece close to your nose you will still smell the fire around which the jewellery was made!
Many pieces of jewellery are made for special events such as weddings and rite-of-passage ceremonies. Making beaded pendants corresponding to age class is another important ritual, for the Maasai every 10 years is a new age class so all the children born in a new decade will wear the same kind of pendant to indicate their generation.
Through this regular adaptation and re-invention of the patterns and shapes every Maasai beadwork is unique!
In the past, the women made the beads from seeds and dried grasses, which were dyed with various compounds. Nowadays, most beads are made from glass, but the craftwork is still the same and the pieces as enchanting as ever.
See a selection of jewellery made by the Maasai’s in Kenya here at Lov’edu.