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Dimensions: L:11in W:7.5in D:0,1.2in
The Maasai people of Southern Kenya have a long-standing tradition of creating and wearing beaded jewelry. Their jewelry-making techniques have evolved over time, adapting to the availability of different materials. Initially, the Maasai crafted jewelry using natural resources like clay, wood, bone, copper, and brass. However, with the advent of trade with Europeans in the late 19th century, glass beads became more accessible to the Maasai community. The introduction of glass beads revolutionized their jewelry-making process, and they incorporated these colorful beads into their designs. Since then, beaded jewelry has become an integral part of Maasai culture and tradition.
Maasai women are primarily responsible for creating the intricate beaded jewelry. They handcraft each piece with precision and expertise, using various beadwork techniques. The jewelry is highly valued and is worn by both men and women throughout their lives, signifying their cultural identity and personal adornment.
About the Tribe
Maasai also spelled Masai (this is incorrect spelling of the British settlers and has remained in current use) are nomadic pastoralists of East Africa. Maasai is essentially a linguistic term, referring to speakers of this Eastern Sudanic language (usually called Maa) of the Nilo-Saharan language family. These include the pastoral Maasai who range along the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania, the Samburu of Kenya, and the semipastoral Arusha and Baraguyu (or Kwafi) of Tanzania. The pastoral Maasai are fully nomadic, wandering in bands throughout the year and subsisting almost entirely on the meat, blood, and milk of their herds. Their bright red robes set them apart visually. Spear in hand, they are calm and courageous regardless of the danger. Until recently, a Maasai boy would only be crowned a warrior if they killed a lion single-handedly using a spear. Of course, this does not happen anymore as protection of the precious wildlife is paramount. Traditional Maasai people's lifestyle concentrates on their cattle which make up the primary source of food.
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