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Namayiana - Kenya

Namayiana - Kenya

Named after the word "blessing" in the Maasai language, Namayiana is an informal cooperative of women artisans in Kenya's Rift Valley who create traditional beaded Maasai jewellery. Given that few of the women working with Namayiana have formal education, their employment enables them to earn a stable income through the creation of beautiful beadwork - a tradition, they say, that originated when the first Maasai was born. Traditionally, Kenyan men have sold cattle while women have worked within the home. By earning money themselves - usually for the first time in their lives - the women of Namayiana are transforming gender role perceptions within the community, proving that women are valuable members of society, worthy of dignity and respect.