Handmade Jewelry by Masai Women in Tanzania Goes International!

I often see Masai Material being used by Versace, H&M, Louis Vuitton as inspiration, its beautiful to see actual Masai designs being crafted by Masai women in Tanzania being used in the Fashion industry and showcased in Fashion weeks across the world and these women actually ripping benefits of it....hand clap to ALAMA!

Elisabeta Tudor,Nini Gollong, along with their business partner Rabea Schaefers, and their jewelry brand Alama: culture-to-wear.  Tudor explains, “We didn’t want to put a regular fashion label on it. The term expresses our willingness to promote culture through fashion—in our specific case, the Masai culture of Tanzania.”  Their collection is crafted by a collective of 20 Masai women employed and empowered by the NGO Africa Amini Alama has been given a boost by a fashion industry favorite. This year, Tudor and Gollong have partnered with French fashion group Faith Connexion,Faith Connexion collaborated with Alama on the accessories for the Spring 2017 show, exhibited a selection in their showroom during Paris Fashion Week, and now, they’re stocking additional Alama jewelry in their recently opened New York store.
 Tudor emphasizes that the designs remain true to the Masai culture. “We don’t change the original jewelry pieces or get inspired by them to create new, more ‘fashionable’ ones,” she points out. “What you see is an authentic bit of Masai culture and your purchase of a piece, or willingness to just talk about it, helps promote the Masai culture.”
Ekaely Palango, the brand manager who oversees the Masai collective in Tanzania, is also excited about the potential awareness that the collaboration might bring to the women and their craft. “I am proud to be a Masai woman,” she says. “This project can help many Masai women artisans, because they are able to make more money than they normally would and therefore, can use their salaries to pay student fees for schooling and give money back to their families. Also, since I got involved with Alama, I have had many more women artisans get in touch with me to ask to join the collective.” Each piece of jewelry is unique and handcrafted according to the artisan’s mood or feeling. The colors and shapes of each piece can reflect things like social status, gender, or age; white beads stand for purity, red symbolize bravery, and green represent health. All of the materials used are locally sourced and eco-friendly (recycled plastic and glass beads included).- VOGUE