Guaranteed Maasai Craft Project




Maasai craftsWorking in partnership with community development specialists Tribal Voice Communications and craft intermediary BawaHope, the Guaranteed Maasai Craft Project aims to:

  • Improve the livelihoods of the Maasai tribe in the Mara Triangle and Suswa areas of Kenya by increasing the potential of craft producers to generate income through the sale of locally-produced crafts
  • Increase tourist sales of existing products in the Maasai villages by equipping the Maasai with better selling and pricing skills
  • Diversify into new markets and facilitate supply chain links between a Nairobi based craft intermediary, and retail outlets in Kenya and the UK, using fair trade principles
  • Increase commercial appeal and competitiveness of crafts by improving the quality, design and marketability of products
  • Build a feeling of unity between different tribal producer groups in Kenya by including a combination of beadwork, brass, cow horn and bone in the product range



The Travel Foundation has committed to Phase 1 of this project, which runs from March – December 2015. Phase 1 activities are:

  • Developing a new range of 12-15 jewellery product samples featuring Maasai beadwork, working collaboratively as a team of Kenyan and UK based designers. A quarter of the product samples will include Maasai beadwork combined with brass, aluminium, cow horn and bone elements created by producers from other tribes.
  • Testing the new product range with potential buyers in the Kenyan domestic market and the UK market.
  • Engaging with stakeholders including the County Government, lodges in the Masai Mara, retail outlets and tourist hotel gift shops in Nairobi, and craft wholesalers.

In June 2015, Kenyan and UK designers carried out a product development and research trip in Kenya. They met with various producer groups and trained the Maasai women in new beadwork techniques such as 3D beading, and new designs to suit international markets.A number of lodges in the Masai Mara expressed an interest in stocking the new product range, and their wholesaler agreed to purchase the products using fair trade principles.

Business benefits

Improving the accessibility of high quality, genuine local crafts helps to enhance the visitor experience and enables the destination to create and promote an authentic offer that is unique. By stocking products that are produced by the surrounding communities on fair trade principles, lodges will improve their relationship with residents, which will improve the host-visitor experience.


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