Kenya's tradition: Bead work still vital to tribes

Photo -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Susana Daniel Chemakwany (SHAY'-mah-KWAH'-nee) is stitching tiny, multicolored beads into a colorful array of necklaces, wristlets and earrings under a tent near the U.S. Capitol.

Clothes, shoes and baskets with beading in her designs are sold in a nearby marketplace. But there was a time when Chemakwany had little need to sell her work. Now Kenya's economy is tight, and she and members of other tribes sell their traditional beadwork for income.

Chemakwany is an elder of Kenya's Pokot (poh-COHT') tribe and beadwork a traditional pastime. She was on the National Mall this summer to show her work and share her expertise at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year's event ended July 6 and featured the art, dance, music, food and crafts of China and Kenya.

View article comments Leave a comment

More from