FoTZC recently sent Cecilia (pictured left) to work with four Maasai women’s groups, including the Enyuata Women’s Collaborative, on their beading skills. Cecilia is originally from this area of Maasailand, and she loved meeting and working with the women from the area. “It was a very moving experience, and I am dedicated to working with these women to improve their businesses,” she said.
One of the challenges during the first FoTZC-sponsored training seminar in early 2011 was teaching the women about patterns. Even though their work had been intricate, we discovered that they had been creating their work by feel; now that they have grasped the concept of patterns and counting (using five white beads and then one black bead, for example), the improvement has been remarkable.
Building on prior successes, Cecilia is furthering their skills and has recently taught them how to make new types of beaded crafts that are not in their traditional repertoire, including beaded cotton skirts, placemats, coasters, and beaded leather bracelets. Cecilia is looking forward to her next seminar with these four women’s groups, and we can’t wait to see the results!
These are some images of Cecilia’s beading seminars in Maasailand, as well as an up-close look at the women’s beaded work.