IT TAKES A VILLAGE

The success of Crafting Kenya is a reflection of the effort of many people: the craftspeople who enthusiastically opened their doors to us so that we could witness the behind-the-scenes story of Kenyan crafts and bring this story to the world, via photography; friends and family from around the world, from Nairobi to New York, who generously supported the project; everyone who hosted the Crafting Kenya team as they traveled throughout Kenya; the community of volunteers in Nairobi who embraced the project as theirs and organized the Crafting Kenya trivia nights; the people who followed our journey, not only cheering us from the sidelines but also proposing that we replicate Crafting Kenya in Haiti, Colombia, Peru…; and finally, the special team that attended all the four Crafting Kenya trivia nights in Nairobi and won every single one of them! Crafting Kenya recognizes and thanks everyone who helped to make this happen.

 

THE ARTISANS

Survival. Economics. Opportunity. Self-Determination. Education. Self-Realization. Recreation. Tradition. Environmental Activism. Passion. These words neatly capture the broad spectrum of the artisans’ motivations for engaging with their craft.

Jamila Hamisi,               Earring Maker at Kazuri Beads, Nairobi


Jamila Hamisi,               Earring Maker
at Kazuri Beads, Nairobi

      Evelyne Otieno,           Pottery Glazing  at Kazuri Beads, Nairobi

     
Evelyne Otieno,           Pottery Glazing 
at Kazuri Beads, Nairobi

Thomas Kapere, Gallery Manager,           Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass, Kitengela


Thomas Kapere,
Gallery Manager,           Anselm Kitengela
Hot Glass, Kitengela

Najash. A. Hafidh, Owner of Swahili Wood Working Atelier, Mombasa


Najash. A. Hafidh, Owner of Swahili Wood Working Atelier, Mombasa

“My trade as a wood worker has taken me places. From Italy to Mozambique to Bahrain, where I have been to conferences on crafts.”
— Najash. A. Hafidh, Owner of Swahili Wood Working Atelier, Mombasa
Rosina Solo, Basket Weaver, Katanga Women’s           Cooperative, Yatta


Rosina Solo,
Basket Weaver,
Katanga Women’s           Cooperative, Yatta

Daniel Onyango, Furniture Maker, Nairobi


Daniel Onyango, Furniture Maker, Nairobi

Syprine Agan, Crafts Quality Control Officer, Bombolulu Center for the Disabled, Mombasa


Syprine Agan,
Crafts Quality Control Officer, Bombolulu Center for the Disabled, Mombasa

Ronald Okumu, Leather Tanner, Malindi  


Ronald Okumu,
Leather Tanner,
Malindi
 

Mbarak Omar Slim, Jewelry Maker using silver and pieces of ceramic recovered from archaelogical sites along the Kenyan coast, Lamu Island


Mbarak Omar Slim, Jewelry Maker using silver and pieces of ceramic recovered from archaelogical sites along the Kenyan coast,
Lamu Island

Fatuma Warrio, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit


Fatuma Warrio, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit

Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Lamu Door Maker, Lamu Island  


Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Lamu Door Maker, Lamu Island

 

Bernard Maina, Wood  Carver, Pumwani Wood Carving Workshop


Bernard Maina,
Wood  Carver,
Pumwani Wood Carving Workshop

“I didn’t learn how to make these rings in school. I had to work to eat, and so I started making these rings. My stomach taught me how to.”
— Mbarak Omar Slim, Jeweler on Lamu Island
Galgal, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit


Galgal,
Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit

Kaderdina Hajee Essak, Owner, Mali ya Abdallah Textile Store founded in 1887, Mombasa


Kaderdina Hajee Essak, Owner, Mali ya Abdallah Textile Store founded in 1887, Mombasa

Hakule Dida, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit


Hakule Dida, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Marsabit

Isiah Chebiator, Artist who turns trash collected from the Indian Ocean into art, Lamu Island


Isiah Chebiator,
Artist who turns trash collected from the Indian Ocean into art, Lamu Island

Jonathan Charo, Bag Maker, Bombolulu Center for the Disabled, Mombasa


Jonathan Charo,
Bag Maker, Bombolulu Center for the Disabled, Mombasa

Hadija Bakari, Palm Leaf Weaver, Lamu Island


Hadija Bakari,
Palm Leaf Weaver,
Lamu Island

Godano Tuke, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo


Godano Tuke, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo

Gabriel Odongi Dimba, Outdoor Furniture Maker using Hyacinth Fiber, Kisumu


Gabriel Odongi Dimba, Outdoor Furniture Maker using Hyacinth Fiber, Kisumu

Japheth Munyao, Contemporary Crafts Artisan, Maasai Market, Kisumu


Japheth Munyao, Contemporary Crafts Artisan, Maasai Market, Kisumu

Anab Hersi, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo  


Anab Hersi,
Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo
 

Caroline Atieno Baraza, Paper Bead Maker, Kisumu  


Caroline Atieno Baraza, Paper Bead Maker, Kisumu
 

Hadija Abduba, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo  


Hadija Abduba, Traditional Crafts Artisan, Isiolo
 

“Weaving is relaxing. And then I get to make some extra money after attending to my farm.”
— Margaret Okello, Textile Weaver and Owner of Pendeza Weaving, Kisumu
Carlson George Sandora, Soapstone Carver, Kisii  


Carlson George Sandora, Soapstone Carver, Kisii

 

Prisca Akinyi, Recycled Metal Crafts Maker, Kisumu


Prisca Akinyi,
Recycled Metal Crafts Maker, Kisumu

Sarah Nyabiage, Soapstone Carver, Kisii  


Sarah Nyabiage, Soapstone Carver, Kisii

 

Margaret Okello, Textile Weaver, Kisumu  


Margaret Okello,
Textile Weaver, Kisumu