Visit the spectacular beaded earrings exhibition in Nairobi

maasai Contemporary variation of the Ennani Enko

The Nairobi National Museum will be showcasing an exquisite collection of colorful beaded leather earrings. Known as Ennani Enko or Enchoni Enkiok are the characteristic traditional earrings of the famous Maasai community, and are part of their distinctive heritage. These earrings are usually worn by Maasai women as well as women from Samburu Rendille and Kalenjin communities. They are available in multiple designs and interesting color variations for all to view at the Cycles of Life Gallery within the Nairobi National Museum, courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Department.

Here are some of the earrings you should expect to see at the exhibition:

The color of the beads and the arrangement is not done at random, it actually holds a deep meaning in the Maasai culture.

Traditional beaded leather earrings

masai Beaded leather earrings
Beaded leather earrings

Interesting facts about Maasai Jewelry:

The bead work a woman wears signifies their age and social status; generally individuals of high social standing will wear more colorful and intricate jewelry.

The colors used in the bead work are symbolic and have important meanings understood by the tribe. Often these meanings have an association with cattle, which is the Maasai’s main food source and most treasured possession

maasai Contemporary variation of the Ennani Enko
Contemporary variation of the Ennani Enko

Visit the gallery to learn how the colors are used and their associated meanings.

Click here to view more details about the exhibition.

National Museums of Kenya


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