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By Sass Brown, Contributing Editor

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Located in Arusha, Tanzania, Sidai Designs produce a beaded jewelry collection based on traditional Maasai beading techniques, infused with a modern aesthetic.

As a not-for-profit, Sidai support and collaborate with Maasai women, providing tools and strategies for sustainable economic development.

SidaiDesigns3-2In an effort to overcome poverty, and raise the social status of women by improving access to healthcare and education, Sidai invest in skills, sustainable employment and knowledge sharing. By working with traditional artistry, the brands aim is to preserve Maasai heritage, while paying a fair income to artisans and providing safe, clean working conditions.
The jewelry is created entirely by hand, using a combination of upcycled materials, and traditional glass beads. Using thread from old grain sacks, and recycled metal beads, glass beads are intricately threaded together and finished with soft leather and sterling silver fastenings. Each design comes from the creative heritage of the Maasai with the synergy of modern sophistication.

Sidai Designs began in 2011 in a small workshop with five Maasai women, expanding the network of woman artisans in Tanzania, and collaborating to create beautiful handmade jewelry honoring traditional techniques.

The brands workshop incorporates a retail outlet, where customers can meet the artisans, as well as purchase the work. They also offer beading classes to visitors to encourage skill sharing and cross cultural conversations, where participants learn about the Maasai beading techniques and materials.

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Learn more at sidaidesigns.com.

Image Credit: Sidai Dedigns