The Maasai Beading Company workshop in the community of Talek is situated less than 50 yards from the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. Over 120 women from neighboring villages gather in this workshop to create handcrafted beaded products, which include colorful bracelets, belts, and key chains.
The Basecamp Foundation’s Maasai Beading Company greatly empowers Maasai women, all between the ages of 17 and 60, by providing them with a reliable source of their own income. This money is then used to help support the women and their families often by paying for clothing, tuition, and health services.
By purchasing a Maasai Beading product, customers directly support the women and their handicraft. The products are fair trade, which ensures that the artisan receives 75% of the sales price of the product. The women also have an active role in the process of pricing, which takes into consideration the cultural significance of the product being sold.
Maasai designs and African fashion inspire the product concepts, which aim to maintain and promote the women’s traditional leather and beading handicraft skills. We also bring in visiting designers from the US making our style a unique fusion between traditional Maasai designs and more contemporary and international style.
Our products are high quality as well as eco conscious. While artisans work mainly with Maasai glass beads and high quality leather, we also utilize scrap metal and waste materials wherever possible. The thread used is made from strands of recycled plastic food bags, which are twinned together by hand.
Other initiatives connected to our innovatiave beading project include a microfinance savings scheme in cooperation with Faulu Kenya and the Biotisho wellness and HIV awareness program at Basecamp Masai Mara (add links).
To support our program and purchase products from the Maasai Beading Project visit our online Catalog.
PROJECT UPDATE: BMB Sponsor Letter (pdf)
Talek, Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Empower disadvantaged women, offering a source of income.
- Reintroduce and maintain traditional designs, reinforcing traditional culture.
Started 2003, continuous
Partners and stakeholders:
- Talek women community
- Basecamp Explorer
- Basecamp guests
- Produce purchases
- Online donations
Make a contribution to Basecamp Maasai Brand here:
Please see Maasai Brand’s website for more information