The Maasai people have been using beadwork to tell the story of their collective history and culture as well as their individual social positions in their day lives. The wearer might use it to represent wealth, beauty, strength, warriorhood, marital status, children-born and/or social status.
Beaded jewelry is used as everyday adornment on both men and women.
The jewelry pieces are made up of the traditional Maasai colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white and black. Each color is symbolic of important cultural elements.
Blue represents the sky and the nourishing waters of the sea, lakes and rivers.
White represents purity and peace.
Black represents the people and the hardships they must endure.
Orange represents warmth, generosity, and frendship, as it is the color of the gourds in which milk is offered to guests.
Green represents the land, production and health.
Red represent bravery, unity and the blood lost in pursuit of freedom.
Yellow also represents sun, fertility, growth and hospitality because it is the color of the animal skins on guests’ beds.