Beads play an important role in Kenya’s culture, with different tribes that make and use them. The Kazuri Beads Factory in Nairobi is therefore a great place to visit. Since 1975 it created jobs for over 300 local craftswomen. The factory sells her jewellery all over the world.
- 26,50 per person (excluding transfer costs)
- 1 - 2 hours
Most famous for their use of beads are probably the Maasai, Turkana and Samburu people, with their extensive head-, neck, arm- and foot-decorations. For Turkana women for example, it’s impossible to find a marriage suitor if they don’t wear extensive bead necklaces around their necks.
Beads are traditionally made of clay, bone, ostrich eggshells (the oldest sort of beads) or aluminium. Both men and women wear beads, and they can have different messages. The beads can be a sign of marriage, health, or of how many children you have. When a women for example has mostly male children, she will wear many earrings. The different colours have different meanings (blue is the sky, red is blood), and the jewellery is also used to reflect one’s beauty, strength and social status. When a Maasai warrior fights and kills another man, he will wear a special arm band.
The Kazuri Beads Factory (Kazuri means small and beautiful in Kiswahili) in Nairobi built upon this tradition and started making ceramic beads in the 1970s. All beads are handmade by local craftswomen and then created into elegant jewellery of all colours and shapes. The factory started with two women, but these days employs over 300 women who manage to make a living for their families here. The beads are exported to 20 different countries.
A visit supports this beautiful project. During the tour of approximately one hour you will learn about the process of bead making and get a guided tour around the factory.
Kazuri Beads Factory