Handmade traditional maasai jewelry crafted by the mamas of Enkiito village, Kenya, using environmentally friendly and reclaimed materials. The ladies of this community, situated just North of Amboseli national park, receive a fair wage for their products, allowing them to send their children to school. Profits from the sale of all items go towards the building of a well to provide clean drinking water for the people of Enkiito.
Everybody who works on this project is a volunteer and there are no overhead costs – all of the donations and profit from the jewelry sales go straight into the well fund, so you know exactly what is being done with your money!
When you buy an item from Enkiito Maasai Jewelry you will receive a label with the name of the lady who made it.
The project is run by Robyn Forsythe (in the middle), a filmmaker from the UK.
"Maasai jewelry that sends our children to school. In our village of Enkiito in Kenya, there is often drought. If there is no rain, all our cows will die and we have no income. This means we can't afford to send the children to school.
We sell this jewelry to make money to build a water harvesting system to help us when there is no rain, and send the children to school.
Enkiito is a Maasai village, where we live traditional life. We keep goats and cows, and wear many jewelry. The Maasai favourite colour is red."
Each piece of jewelry, in its shape, patterns, and colors, speaks of the wearer’s culture. People within that culture can tell a woman’s exact status–her age, marital status, even whether she has given birth to a son–by observing her beaded jewelry.
Unmarried Maasai girls often wear a large flat beaded disc that surrounds their neck when dancing. They use the movement of the disc to display their grace and flexibility.
Women will wear a very elaborate and heavy beaded necklace on their wedding day. The necklace often hangs down to the brides knees and can make it very difficult for her to walk.
A married Maasai woman will wear a Nborro, which is a long necklace with blue beads.
Red signifies danger, ferocity, bravery, strength, and especially unity, because it is the color of the blood of the cow that is slaughtered when the community comes together in celebration.
Blue is significant because it represents the sky which provides water for the cows.
Green represents the land which grows food for the cattle to eat.
Orange symbolizes hospitality because it is the color of the gourds that hold the milk that is offered to visitors.
Yellow also suggests hospitality because it is the color of the animal skins on guest beds.
White represents purity, because white is the color of milk, which comes from a cow, considered by the Maasai as a pure and holy animal. White also represents health, because it is milk that nourishes the community.
Black represents the color of the people, but more importantly the hardships we all go through in life. It suggests that difficult times are experienced by everyone because those difficulties are part of the same, natural sequence of life.
You can also help at buildjacksonawell.com or buy one of their products bellow.
NAMASTE MAASAI HANDBAG
NAMASTE MAASAI HANDBAG