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Beads and Jewelry
"Every craft has its own techniques." —Kenyan proverb

There are as many styles of bead and jewelry making in Kenya as there are cultural traditions and impulses of creativity. Many craftspeople follow traditional styles, often worn to indicate a person's social rank or passage through important life events in specific community contexts. Other designers shift their creations with the fashions of the times. Designs and types of materials used are as limitless as the imagination.


Susana Daniel Chemakwany is a member of the Sengekwo Cultural Group, an enterprising group specializing in Pokot cultural artifacts and traditional costumes, carvings, and food. Susan specializes in beadwork, which she learned from her grandmother. Beads have a significant cultural value attached to them, and the art of beading is shared across the community and handed down from generation to generation.

Susan Naserian Nketoria is a renowned beadwork artist who learned her skills from her mother. She has a real passion for her art, which she combines with storytelling about the Maasai, a community that values beaded decorated artifacts.

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