Discipline Faculty

Because, Beads Breathe: Stories of the Maasai

Chandni Jayesh Karelia

Swasti Singh Ghai

Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting Kenya and Tanzania. Their craft has motivated their survival in the deadliest of Savannah plains and is not only an art but a means to express their culture and creation. As a designer, Chandni felt that it was her responsibility to revive and innovate their livelihood through association. Consumer demand was analyzed and identified to find loopholes to improvise existing designs. She also attempted to meet the needs of tourists as it was a significant source of revenue. Artisans were helped to develop concepts, explore color combinations and create innovative products using traditional skills.
Fieldwork included visiting the local settlements, shops and NGOs to understand the impact of modernization on the tribe. Workshops were also conducted to build a management system within the community for a sustainable future. Exhibitions were held to help understand consumer demands and rectify the final products accordingly.