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.
Where do the Masai 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!
Where does beaded jewelry come from?
The art of making glass beads probably originated in Venice, Italy. In any case, we know that this area had a flourishing industry in the production of beads by the early 14th century. from there the production of beads moved to other parts of Europe, the most notable being Bohemia, France, England, and Holland.
Where do African tribes get their beads?
Glass beads actually come from Europe. To this day, they are imported from the Czech Republic. The red blankets originally came from Scotland. Glass beads first arrived in Africa from the first millennium AD through the trans-Saharan and coastal trade.
What do African necklaces mean?
The Significance of African Beads
Large and colorful beads symbolize wealth and social status, and blue beads are thought to enhance fertility. Red beads are reserved for ceremonies like tribal festivals, funerals, circumcisions of young boys and harvest dances.
What does African jewelry represent?
Furthermore, red colored beads and stones in African jewelry symbolize various things such as danger, courage, power, hardships, and solidarity. Just like red beads and stones, black beads in African culture are also associated with hardships, unity, empathy and goodwill.
Why do the 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.