African Maasai & Zulu

African Maasai & Zulu

Their main activity was raising cattle, but the Maasai have also been known for centuries as fearsome hunters and warriors. By the mid-19th century, Maasai territory was at its largest, extending over pretty much the entirety of modern-day Kenya and half of Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.

Zulu, a nation of Nguni-speaking people in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. They are a branch of the southern Bantu and have close ethnic, linguistic, and cultural ties with the Swazi and Xhosa. The Zulu are the single largest ethnic group in South Africa and numbered about nine million in the late 20th century.

The only shape used by the Zulu in their bead jewelry is the triangle. How the triangles are positioned within a particular beadwork signify different meanings. Also, the colors of the beads used also influenced the meaning of the message conveyed by the beadwork. The seven main colors used by the Zulu craftswomen are green, blue, red, black, white, yellow, and pink. Each of these colors is a symbol of some positive meaning.

The colors used in the beadwork are selected for their beauty. The colors are also symbolic and have important implications understood by the tribe. Often these have an association with cattle, which is the Maasai's main food source and for which they have a deep connection.

These are a few of the largest by population and true to their culture. Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their villages to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle, in return for a fee. The fascinating colours and rituals of these tribes have inspired us heavily. We wanted everyone to be a part of this culture in whatever little way possible. And with our new tribal collection, we hope to bring inspiration to more people. The loud and vibrant colours and design patterns that represent these tribes have been an influence for this collection. Make the most of bright and loud colours and pair it up with your confidence and poise, with Kirtilals!