Why do the Maasai make beads?
The beadwork embodies the Maasai culture, representing beauty, tradition, strength, and sometimes even social status. “Women met up in groups and beaded jewellery worn by both men and women during different events and occasions,” Nashilu shares. “Beads are a symbol of beauty.”
What is the basis of creation of Maasai beaded jewelry?
The tribe used natural resources around them to create their jewelry – everything from clay, wood and bone to copper and brass. In the late 19th century trade with the Europeans made glass beads available across the trade routes in Africa.
Why do Maasai wear red?
Red is the most important color; symbolizing courage, bravery, and strength. The Maasai also believe that red scares off predators like lions even at long distances. Red also represents unity within the Maasai culture because livestock are slaughtered when communities come together in celebration.
Where do Maasai get their beads?
Beads of the Maasai were traditionally made out of local products – Bones, clay, wood, copper or brass – those natural resources got set aside as soon as tiny glass and ceramic beads became available through trade with Europeans. Today, most of them come from the Czech republic!
Do Maasai men wear necklaces?
All Maasai men and women wear a beaded pendant corresponding to their age class. Every 10 years marks a new age class, and all the children born in the following decade will wear the same kind of pendant to indicate their generation.