ANTASSIA – BESPOKE MAASAI BEADED DESIGNS
“MAN HAS WORN BEADS SINCE TIME BEGAN, IN RITUALS AND CEREMONIES, FOR BEAUTIFICATION, TALISMANIC PROPERTIES OR HEALING, AS A SYMBOL OF WEALTH & TO DENOTE STATUS.”
In 2008 Antassia bead project was formed by Antonia Stogdale in partnership with the Mokogodo Maasai women of Tassia in Northern Kenya. The philosophies behind Antassia are to preserve the traditional Maasai way of life by harnessing the beading skills of the women and create a sustainable source of income for the women and their families.
The key challenge was to develop fashionable & wearable designs, which retained a traditional Maasai look. An array of bespoke beaded bags, belts, cuffs, bracelets are now being created. As well as practical, functional items for the home, such as beaded coat hangers, coasters, jewellery boxes, candles holders.
The Maasai woman are invaluable at home, and have many time consuming, arduous duties such as collecting water that can be up to two hours away collecting firewood, so there is very limited opportunity or time for employment & reform income. This project allows them to work from home, which mean that their traditional role as a Maasai wife is not disrupted or compromised. It also means they are independent and can choose where they put their income towards: food for their family and education for their children.
The focus now is on designing and creating solidly beaded clutch bags. Each bag is one of a kind, designed by Antonia and made by one of the Maasai woman. The bags are extremely intricate and involve an enormous amount of work; each bag takes approximately 2 weeks to make as they are not beading continually.
Each women is paid for the pieces that she makes, this is determined by weight: for example a bag weighing 450g = $45. Proceeds from the sales of the bags go towards buying more materials and reinvesting in the partnership.
The project empowers the over 100 women and offers them to choice of education for the next generation of the community of MokogodoMaasai, who are guardians of the Mokogodo Forest and the 60000 acre wilderness of Lekurruki where they have lived for hundreds of years.
In purchasing an Antassia product you are directly supporting the Mokgodo Maasai women of Northern Kenya.
AS FEATURED IN VOGUE MAGAZINE:
If you would like to buy a bag or order any of the other Antassia products, please go to the contacts page, once your have placed an order you can pay via PayPal.