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Maasai Beading: Color & Symbolism [ infographic ]

Maasai Beading: Color & Symbolism [ infographic ]


The Maasai are one of the most well known Indigenous people of Africa. Their colorful attire and unique customs highlight their vibrant culture located in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania.

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Have you ever wondered as to the symbolism and social meanings behind their vibrantly beadwork?

"The beaded jewelry made by the Maasai women is a tradition from the Maasai tribe, located in Southern Kenya. The Maasai have been creating beaded jewelry for a very long time. It all started long before the first European contact had occurred. At the time, 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 colors of the jewels are not only chosen because of the beautiful ensembles they make, but also for their symbolic values. Each color has a meaning that is often related to cattle. Cattle are the main food source of the Maasai and they sustain a deep connection with them. " - Discovered.us

I am really impressed that the Maasai Culture still exits in our world today. With their unwavering culturally-rich history, American culture pales in comparison with our ever-changing fashion trends and cultural whims. They definitely have a deeply rooted culture one can't help but be impressed by.

Check out the Maasai on COLOURlovers:

Maasai_BeadworkMaasaimaasai_variationMaasai_MorningWandering_MaasaiMaasaiMaasai_Mandalakenyamaasai_jewellerymaasai_maraMaasaiMaasaiMaasaiMaasaiMaasai_1Blue_MaasaiMaasaiMaasai_RedMaasai_SkyBlueMaasai_BlueMaasai_OrangeMaasai_Redmaasai_redmaasaiTribal_GlamKenya_Masai_MaraKenyas_YellowKenyaHot_In_KenyaKenyakenyaKenyaKenyaKenyaKenyaKenyas_DuskKenyaTrip_to_Kenyakenya


18 Comments
Showing 1 - 18 of 18 Comments

novrain62

I Love beadwork! Especially Lakota style <3
Team

mollybermea

<3 a craft that certainly takes a lot of patience!
novrain62 wrote:
I Love beadwork! Especially Lakota style <3

Padmaraga

Thank you for the post. It was very informative, and I enjoyed it. :)

heerayni

I have seen this bead work all over the place and I knew that it was sort of African... But I never knew that it had such deep cultural meaning. Thank you for sharing this info Molly!
Team

mollybermea

Definitely. Well I think a lot of the Fashion Tribal Trends that came about around 5+ years ago and stuck around in some manner, have scooped up some of the beadwork as well as garment design from Kenya as well. :) Glad you learned something. I thought it was quite an interesting topic. I knew of the basic idea of the beading but did not know the relation to cattle and culture and symbolism. :)

heerayni wrote:
I have seen this bead work all over the place and I knew that it was sort of African... But I never knew that it had such deep cultural meaning. Thank you for sharing this info Molly!
Team

mollybermea

Great! Short and to the point! I loved the quick topic. :)
Padmaraga wrote:
Thank you for the post. It was very informative, and I enjoyed it. :)

Seahorse Girl

I love the craft of beading. I used to be into it a great deal.
Red_MaasaiBlue_Maasai
Green_MaasaiYellow_Maasai
Orange_MaasaiWhite_Maasai
Black_MaasaiQueen_of_Maasai

Purpul_person

Wow, this is awesome. I've always loved how beautiful Maasai beads are and the symbolism behind them makes them 10 times more amazing and empowering. When I next have time I definitely want to string together some Maasai coloured beads! I'm glad I saw this post even if it is almost a year later haha :)

StewartJameson

The symbolism in this Maasai Beading is really strong. Like it, *thumbs up*

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