Esther is one of 8 talented full-time beaders working for Sidai designs, our artisan partners in Tanzania. An additional 100+ semi-nomadic Maasai women are paid by the piece. Maasai women typically have little control over areas that affect them such as resources, their education and their livelihoods due to an embedded patriarchal system that does not value them as able decision makers. Because of this gender inequality, Maasai women are often married young, prevented from going to school, and face poverty and heavy work loads as a daily reality.
The option to create jewelry as a source of reliable income has empowered Maasai women to earn steady incomes, lift themselves out of poverty, and become leaders in their community. Designs honor Maasai culture, and women have the choice to bead from home or at Sidai's workshop in Tanzania, which suits their lifestyle.