These brown leather sandals combine all-day comfort with handcrafted silver-hued glass bead medallions created by members of Kenya’s Maasai tribe. The EVA outsole provides support even through a long day of sightseeing, and the 2" heel makes them perfect for evenings out. Leather upper and lining.
Women's sizes 37-41.
Handcrafted in the coastal village of Malindi, Kenya.
The Maasai live in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, where they’ve herded cattle for centuries. All members of the Maasai but the youngest boys wear beaded accessories such as headdresses, belts, bracelets, and arm bands. Women also wear large, flat collars, sometimes several at a time. Women string glass seed beads in a variety of colorspreferences vary throughout the Maasai’s regionon sinew or wire to construct geometric patterns and sculptural, structured designs.
Beadwork has always been important to Maasai culture. Brides wear necklaces that have been passed down from mothers and grandmothers, and the young men who serve as warriors are often adorned in many beaded accessories at once.
When contact with Europeans increased during the 20th century, these beaded accessories served as valuable trade goods and it’s around this time that the colors of the beads came to take on symbolic meaning, mostly inspired by the Maasai’s agrarian lifestyle. Blue is the sky and green is the land. Orange and yellow are colors of hospitality. Red signifies danger and strength, but because it is the color of the blood shed by cows that are slaughtered for celebrations, it also symbolizes community.