- Sterling silver & grass
- French hook
- Approximately 2" L (5.1 cm)
- Handmade in & fairly traded from Kenya
Made by: The Leakey Collection
Founded in 2002 and based in the Rift Valley of Kenya, The Leakey Collection is dedicated to uniting caring communities worldwide with the women in rural East Africa by using commerce as a vehicle. The Leakey Collection is built on several principles: create work opportunity for the Maasai in rural East Africa by using natural, sustainable materials such as contemporary handcrafted fashion accessories, skin care, and lifestyle products; train and educate people in sound business practices in order to enhance their chance for employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and lifelong opportunities; maintain environmental integrity and cultural identity; and invest back into local communities in the form of health benefits, education, and infrastructure.
Designed by Philip and Katy Leakey in the bush country region of Kenya, Zulugrass jewelry was created to provide work opportunities for their Maasai neighbors without adversely impacting the Maasai culture. Native long grasses are harvested one blade at a time, dried, cut to size, then dyed lovely hues. Using a tradition of superlative beadwork dating back generations, Maasai women string the the grass beads together with brilliant Czech crystals, creating attractive jewelry while bringing much needed income and opportunity to themselves, their families, and their community.
A woman who works around 30 hours a week can earn enough to feed her family for a year; after working three months she can also educate her children for a year. The Leakey Collection has been able to create work opportunities for thousands, develop financial independence for women, promote health in rural communities, train midwives and health care workers, improve hygiene and reduce malnutrition, bring clean water to homes, save wetlands, restore natural habitats, provide a better quality of education, mentor young girls to stay in school, build classrooms, hire teachers, assist families in surviving drought, and make a better world.