This is a magnificent Beaded leather belt from the Masai people of Kenya and traditionally worn by the Masai Moran Men. Young Masai men must serve as Moran or cattle guard-warriors for several years before they are permitted to marry. As a sign of his status every Moran male carries a short sworn or long knife in a leather sheath which is suspended form this belt. The belt would be made by the young Moran’s mother. It is worn tight around the waist, with the point pointing down, and the belt has leather strips that tie in the back. The Masai tribe of Africa is well known for its traditional handmade Bead work which is an important part of Masai culture for many years. Masai women set aside time every day to meet and work on beaded jewelry which includes colorful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts and pendants. It is considered the duty of every Masai women to learn the jewelry making craft. All the tribal bead work is made by the women but is worn by both women and men. The bead work they create is not only beautiful but also has important cultural significance. The bead work an individual wears will signify their age and social status. Generally individuals of high social standing will wear more colorful and intricate bead work. Beads also serve as an important source of income for the Masai. The following colors tell the significance of the beads.
Red - stands for bravery, unity, and blood. Red is the color of cows blood. Often a cow is slaughtered when the Masai meet and therefore unity is associated with red.
White - represents peace, purity, and health. The association with health comes from white cows milk which the tribe drinks to stay healthy.
Blue - represents energy and the sky. Rain falls from the blue sky which provides water for the cattle.
Orange - Symbolizes hospitality. The association with cattle is that visitors are served cows milk from orange gourds.
Yellow - like orange yellow also symbolizes hospitality. The animal skins on visitors beds are yellow.
Green - symbolizes health and land. Cattle graze on the green grass of the land.
Black - represents the people and the struggles they must endure. This is a wonderful beaded belt with all the intricate beading and Masai craftsmanship. You can wear the belt, display it in your home or give as wonderful gift. This is a true collectors piece.
It is missing a white round bead in the front and blue beading on the belt.. Shows age and wear.
1" deep STAND NOT INCLUDED
7" x 4" center
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