Beads for Wildlife
Northern Kenya is as wild as wild gets and a long way from Taronga’s two Zoos. However, this region is facing its worst drought in six decades, leaving people, livestock and wildlife desperately competing for survival.
You can help make a difference to Kenya’s people and wildlife by purchasing these handcrafted beads at Taronga Western Plains Zoo's retail outlets, or via Taronga's online Zoo Shop below:
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a community-led conservation initiative whose members depend largely on livestock for their livelihoods. The NRT is working to develop alternative incomes for these communities and an obvious choice is the stunning beadwork traditionally made and worn by the region’s women.
The beads can tell you a woman’s marital status, her age and the number of children she has. The striking colours of the beads also tell a story; green represents the grass and reflects growth, white reflects the purity and health of milk and red brings strength like the life-blood of animals.
The Northern Rangelands Trust trading has established a micro-loan credit system to enable the women to set up small businesses. They are working to train women in business skills and product development as well as providing access to adult literacy classes and health services.