Mercy Muchai Mercy is the creative director of Nashipai. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Her pieces have been featured alongside the talented designer Arianne Zager in New York Fashion Week. Mercy created the Maasai Circular Beaded Loom hanging from the lights.
Nashipai Nashipai is a socially conscious brand founded by Jenny Behrens, inspired by the profound connections she formed with women artisans during her visit to Kenya in 2019. We firmly believe in making fashion a force of good. When you select our jewelry and accessories, you directly support the talented women artisans in Kenya who are ensured fair wages and opportunities for growth.
Tag them on Instagram at @mynashipai
History of Maasai Beading
The Maasai people have a profound tradition of creating exquisite beadwork, a skill that is passed down through generations. For the Maasai, beadwork is an artistic expression and a powerful means to celebrate and preserve their vibrant cultural heritage.
At the heart of Maasai beadwork lies the use of small glass beads. The colors used hold deep symbolic significance, reflecting various aspects of Maasai beliefs and traditions. For example, the color red embodies notions of bravery and strength, while blue evokes the boundless energy of the sky. White signifies purity and health, and green represents the fertile land and prosperity cherished by the Maasai community.
Maasai beadwork encompasses various items, including jewelry, accessories, and decorative objects. Meticulously crafted, these pieces feature intricate geometric patterns, motifs inspired by the awe-inspiring wonders of nature, and traditional symbols that encapsulate the Maasai way of life.
Lastly, a remarkable aspect of Maasai beadwork is its ability to convey messages through colors and patterns. Different combinations and arrangements of beads can communicate essential aspects of an individual’s identity, such as their age, social status, or marital status. Whether it’s a necklace denoting a person’s marital union or an elaborate pattern signifying a rite of passage, Maasai beadwork serves as a visual language within their community, speaking volumes about their rich cultural tapestry.
Learn more at mynashipai.com