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18 Strand Vintage Maasai Beaded Necklace
Kenya. 21" drop. 3.5" wide.
The tradition of Maasai beadwork dates back hundreds of years. It became significant and known to the rest of the world in the 19th century after trade with other tribes.
Initially, Maasai women used dried grass, sticks, clay, seeds, and shells as materials to make the traditional ornaments. Over time, they began using attractive beads made of plastic and glass that they obtained from other communities through trade.
There are a number of different colors used in Maasai beadwork, and each one holds a special meaning: red signifies blood, bravery, and unity. White represents health, peace, and purity. Blue is the color of the sky and represents energy, and green is the color of grass, which signifies the land and production. Black represents the people and the struggle they must endure. Yellow symbolizes the sun, fertility, and growth, and orange represents warmth, generosity, and friendship.