Authentic African Beadwork

Africa is a continent known for its beautiful, elaborate beadwork, particularly in jewelry, but the intricate practice also is put to use in creating home decor and tools. The Maasai Tribe for example, use beaded pieces for both cultural significance and symbolism.

The custom has been in existence for hundreds of years using beads of clay, sticks, shells, and eventually plastic or glass. Like many African traditions, beadwork is passed down from mothers to their daughters. Both women and men wear beaded jewelry at weddings, rituals, and community events to denote age and social status, with those in a higher social status donning more colorful jewelry.

Each color symbolizes something meaningful to the Maasai tribe: red signifies bravery and unity. White represents good health and peace. Blue represents energy; and green is for the land and production. Black represents people and the struggles we must endure and overcome. Yellow symbolizes fertility and growth; and orange represents warmth, generosity, and friendship. African people are storytellers, and beadwork is another way to share our heritage and stories. For this reason, we are proud to create authentic beaded jewelry handcrafted by women in Senegal exclusively for Expedition Subsahara. Shop our beaded jewelry and be unapologetically fierce.