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HANDICRAFTS CREATING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAASAI WOMEN – ILKISARUNI HANDCRAFT WOMEN ASSOCIATION

The practice of beadwork in Maasai culture is mainly done by women. These beaded ornaments are used every day to signify wealth, beauty, strength, warriorhood, marital status, age-sect, social status and other cultural traditions. The different colours used in the intricate beadwork are also symbolic of essential cultural elements.

The women unite the beadwork tradition with contemporary designs to deliver beautiful and durable accessories. Purchasing these crafts creates employment opportunities for these women and helps preserve an ancient tradition.

Ilkisaruni handcraft women association is a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) located in Ngong, Osupuko – Kbiko Kajiado county. The group has created employment for 50 women who sell handmade beaded jewellery for men and women. The group was started by Esther Moitalel in 2000 and has since grown from 25 women to 50 women.

The group sells their handmade accessories locally at the Nairobi Maasai market, which is always buzzing with business activity revolving around cultural artefacts and internationally.

A team from the registrar’s office and the MSEA Kajiado County team visited the women to formalize them under an association that will give the group identity and connet them to more business opportunities.

A team from the office of the registrar led by Acting Assistant Director Enterprise Development Kajiado County Mr. Julius Nkoiboni interacting with the MSEs of Ilkisaruni handcraft women Association.