Maasai Beaded Necklace
It all started long before the first European contact had occurred.
Before, the tribe used natural resources to create their jewelry.
Clay, wood, bone, copper and brass are just few of the materials that were used.
When trade with Europeans started in the late 19th century,
glass beads were suddenly available, and it is with those that the
Maasai decided to continue their tradition of beaded jewels.
The symbolism of the coloured beads
Red symbolizes bravery and strength, but above all, unity as it is the color of the blood of the cow that is slaughtered when the community comes together during celebrations.
Blue symbolizes energy and represents the sky. The sky is of great importance because it provides rain for the cattle.
Green stands for the land, which grows food for the cattle. It symbolizes health.
Orange and yellow represent hospitality because they are the colors of the animal skins on guest beds.
White means purity, as it is the color of the milk from the cows, considered by the Maasai as pure and holy animals.
Finally, black symbolizes the people and all the struggles they must endure.