Tag: Beadwork

Beading with the Maasai Women at Twala Cultural Center in Il Polei, Kenya

In Kenya, I always visit the Twala Cultural Resource Center located in Laikipia outside of Il Polei. The Maasai Ranch Groups has set aside 40 acres of land for the woman to share their culture and give visitors an intimate look at the Maasai way of life.  The center includes accommodations either traditional Maasia boma or manyatas or more modern cottages, cook house and meeting house, an aloe farm and beehives.  Everyone who has traveled with me to Kenya reports this experience was their favorite.

At the cultural center, visitors can participate in many activities including dancing with the Maasai warriors by a fire under the Milky Way, walking with a troop of baboons, and beading with the woman of the tribe. 

Unlike Americans and our rigid schedules, the Maasai woman appear like magic under a tree on their own time in their traditional bright colored clothing resplendent in their beadwork singing a welcome song and getting us to dance with them. They wear their bright beaded collars, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and tiaras.

What happened next reminded me of the Kenyan version of a quilting bee. We all sat under the tree trying to learn how to bead. We gossiped and laughed and smiled.  Even though we did not speak each other’s language, we created a community. 

I decided to give beading a go because I am a jewelry maker, but I only lasted a few minutes. The whole process was tedious for me and I have never been good at following instructions.  A common theme in most things I do… to be continued