Unyazi Designs founded by Samkelo Nyakambi from Langa hopes AtMyInbox will help him create a network and getting his name known. He creates hand made beaded watch straps and products. Picture: Supplied
The colorful Maasai are well known in Kenya, however, some are also settled in Tanzania and are believed to be over 3,000 years old. The Maasai are considered to be one of East Africa’s most internationally well-known tourist attractions. Most of them practice nomadic pastoralism while others are working in the tourism sector, displaying their culture to tourists
Intricate. Unique. Durably elegant. These are a few of the words that embody the hand-crafted jewelry made by Astoria artist Celeste Olivares.
African culture is the inspiration of the handmade beaded crafts created by brothers Talent Makochera, Evest and Chris Muchemwa, who turned their passion for art into a source of income.
Maasai attire has become part of our everyday wear as many Kenyans rock beaded bracelets, waist beads and anklets. These colourful beads and shukas are something that many find irresistible including international celebrities.
Working across a wide range of media, including drawings, sculpture, found objects, paper cut-outs, photography and video, she tackles the big issues head on.
The women who created the artwork in Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence “paint” with beads. Each “canvas” is composed of a myriad of tiny glass beads sewn into black cloth stretched onto a canvas backing. They shimmer in the light.
Waist beads are traditional accessories made from seeds, glass beads or crystal stones worn around the waist. Waist beads have been worn by African women as a symbol of femininity and prosperity for centuries and it is believed to have been in existence since the 15th century.
The chemical composition of glass beads and their morphological characteristics can reveal where they come from. Archaeologists from the University of Geneva analyzed glass beads found at rural sites in Mali and Senegal from between the 7th and 13th centuries AD. The scientists demonstrate that the glass they are made of probably came from Egypt, the Levantine coast and the Middle East. The results show that international trade linking Africa to Europe and Asia during was connected with local and regional trade.
In recent years, we have seen the influx of African print clothing in mainstream fashion. As a fashionista with deep African roots from Ghana, adorning these uniquely authentic pieces like African print dresses is almost like a second nature.