Some friends of mine are currently climbing Kilimanjaro, so I thought why not find out what jewelry (yes I am obsessed) gets created in that part of our big bright beautiful world.
Apparently color plays in a lot (borrowed from here: http://interesting-africa-facts.com/African-Jewelry/Maasai-Bead-Jewelry.shtml ).
- Red - stands for bravery, unity, and blood. Red is the color of cows blood. Often a cow is slaughtered when the Maasai meet and therefore unity is associated with red.
- White - represents peace, purity, and health. The association with health comes from white cows milk which the tribe drinks to stay healthy.
- Blue - represents energy and the sky. Rain falls from the blue sky which provides water for the cattle.
- Orange - Symbolizes hospitality. The association with cattle is that visitors are served cows milk from orange gourds.
- Yellow - like orange yellow also symbolizes hospitality. The animal skins on visitors beds are yellow.
- Green - symbolizes health and land. Cattle graze on the green grass of the land.
- Black - represents the people and the struggles they must endure
And this artist has a very modern take on the traditional designs: http://influxjewellery.com/matthieu-cheminee/
Im coveting this book, and placing a request for my local library to order it : Jewelry Techniques of West Africa, by Matthieu Cheminée
One of our favourite stones - Tanzanite comes from the region.
Etsy has a fantastic range of Kilimanjaro inspired jewelry too
Now I'm sitting here getting bitten by the travel bug!
Kwaheri & Nakupenda (Goodbye, and Love!)