At Sidai Designs the name says it all. Because: "Sidai" means "beautiful" in Maa, the Maasai language. Beautiful, too, is every single piece of jewellery that the 120 Maasai women are currently making for Sidai from glass beads.
Jewellery is of great importance in the Maasai culture and so are the techniques. The handmade glass bead jewellery of Sidai Designs is therefore deeply rooted in the traditional Maasai bead embroidery techniques, whereas its visual design is always inspired by contemporary aesthetics. Every step, from conception and design to the finished, high-quality piece of jewellery, is done with special attention to detail.
Sidai Designs and the associated NGO Sidai Maasai Women Organization, founded in 2011 by Eszter Rabin and Rebecca Olivia Moore in Tanzania, aim to improve the social status of women and contribute to a better future for Maasai women and their families. They believe that craftsmanship is not only a creative tool but can also lead to positive changes in the community. By elevating traditional craftsmanship while preserving indigenous knowledge, their partnership with the women enables them to have access to sustainable employment and ownership over their future.
Each purchase of a piece of Sidai jewellery supports not only fair wages, but also the regular social programs that are regularly offered to the artisans on a number of topics, such as women’s rights and caring for cattle, and for which the Sidai Maasai Women's Organization cooperates with locally based Tanzanian organizations.
Photos by Ute Klein