Process of creation
With the exception of few individual parts, all raw materials are purchased from traders in the nearest provincial town of Arusha or recycled from old goods. This helps to conserve natural resources and supports local small businesses.
Starting materials are: Glass beads, naturally tanned leather, wax & cotton fabrics, fishing linen, nickel-free metal goods (wires and fasteners) as well as recycled threads from corn sacks and hard plastic from old water canisters.
All products are developed in cooperation with the project participants. The product design is characterized by a constant exchange between the project manager, the coordinator and the individual project participants. This results in trendy-modern products that reflect the traditional handicraft and the emotions of the women. Moreover, they contribute to the preservation of the traditional craftsmanship of the Maasai.
It is customary among the Maasai for the goats, sheep and cattle to move across the sand and steppe in small herds all their life before being slaughtered not far from their night kraal. The Maasai respectfully utilize all parts of the killed animal ranging from meat and blood to cartilage and horns. However, skins often find no use (especially those of sheep & goats).
This is where our leather group comes in. They buy the animal skins at the local Maasai market and tan the skins in a 2 week process with 100% natural ingredients such as salt, cooking oil, tree bark, lime powder and unripe papaya slices. With much care and skill, the high-quality natural leather is then processed into bags, cases, key chains and much more by 10 women and men.
We are currently designing and creating various fabric products with the two future main teachers and their teams using locally purchased wax and cotton fabrics. In the future, our graduates from the tailoring school will fashion these fabric items in the 2nd part of the program. In this way, we not only want to give them more practical experience but also make it easier for them to start working independently by paying them a starter salary.