Luxury Beadwork Saves Lives
For 200 years, the women of Samburu, Turkana, Maasai, Rendille, and Borana have created some of the most intricate and beautiful beadwork in Africa. This beadwork plays an essential part in the ornamentation of their body and in identifying their position in society. Although there are variations in the meaning of the color of the beads, generally white signifies peace, blue signifies water, green signifies the grass upon which their livestock depend, and red signifies blood, warriors, and bravery.
Through BEADWORKS, over 1,200 women in northern Kenya receive a reliable and sustainable income through traditional beading skills. Income from beading is not reliant on weather or natural resources so it provides a strong alternative to income generated from livestock grazing and charcoal making. Translating this handicraft into much needed income also lessens their reliance on the land and reduces competition with wildlife for natural resources.
By providing a steady source of legal income for the women and their families, communities are less likely to turn to illegal poaching to feed their families and wildlife is given a value while still alive rather than poached for their parts. As a Certified Wildlife Friendly™ enterprise by the WILDLIFE FRIENDLY ENTERPRISE NETWORK, incentives are put into place supporting coexistence with endangered Kenyan wildlife (lions, elephants, zebra, and giraffe).
BeadWORKS meets the women where they are and makes it possible for them to retain their semi-nomadic lifestyles. Products are handmade by individual artisans in their communities, not in factories. Each piece is unique with a touch of the artisan’s own design; handiwork like this cannot be replicated by technology.
An enduring women’s handicraft that has stood the test of time, each beaded item tells a powerful story of passion, culture, and history. See some of those stories HERE. By purchasing from BeadWORKS, you are investing directly in a sustainable future for people and wildlife in northern Kenya.
Get your luxury beadwork that saves lives HERE!