This Masai wedding necklace is part of my personal collection and it has been a much loved treasure for years. A professor from a local university traveled to Africa as part of a project she was working on. While she was there, she purchased this and many other beaded items directly from the women who made them, paying them what she felt was a fair price. She brought the items back to the US and I was lucky enough to find out about this and purchase this necklace. I have it hanging in the hallway and love passing by it, seeing it, and when someone brushes past it, hearing it whisper a very pleasing sound.
These necklaces are a great craft project for children. I helped my nieces make them and they enjoyed it. You will need to start with some paper plates – the kind that is a little waxy on one side and plain paper on the back. Cut out the center and punch holes for the beads to be strung at the bottom. You can also punch a hole at the top and add a bit of ribbon or string to hang it. The children can then paint the back of the plates and add strands of beads. You can add little coin, bell or other charms at the ends of the strands. Three to five strands are a manageable number – you can do more if you have an older child who has the patience. Children who visit my home are always a bit captivated by this piece. It is long – about four feet and they just stare up at it. They loved being able to make their own versions and take them home.