Monday, 20 February 2012

Art imitates Life

I'm glad that we picked up this canvas from the local Nairobi market, a reminder, very often of our wonderful safari to the world of the Maasai tribes and of course, the wild that surrounds them in gracious abundance.
My striking memory of them, long legged, grouped together in bright clothing - overwhelmingly in red and some in blue/ black, striped & checkered cottons, magically contrasting the greens & browns of their milieu. They wear these textile or cotton sheets wrapped around the body, one over each shoulder, then a third over the top of them.
Look at all that jewellery! The Maasai women regularly weave and bead jewellery. This bead work plays an essential part in the ornamentation of their body. Apparently there are variations in the meaning of the color of the beads, some general meanings for a few colors are: white, peace; blue, water; red, warrior; blood, bravery.
Owing to contact with Europeans, great quantities of brightly colored European glass beads arrived in East Africa, and thereon, bead workers replaced the older beads with the new materials and began to use more elaborate color schemes. The result simply breathtaking!

1 comment:

  1. They look so elegant! Love the headband on that lady--very stylish! :)


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