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 craftsmanship and bring this story to the world, via photography; friends and family from around the world, from Nairobi to New York, who embraced the project as theirs; everyone who hosted the Crafting Kenya team as they traveled throughout Kenya;  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! 

 

THE ARTISANS

Survival. Economics. Self-Actualization. Opportunity. Self-Determination. Education. 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


Jamila Hamisi, Earring Maker

Evelyne Otieno, Pottery Glazing


Evelyne Otieno, Pottery Glazing

Thomas Kapere, Gallery Manager at Glass Factory


Thomas Kapere,
Gallery Manager at Glass Factory

Najash. A. Hafidh, Owner of Swahili woodworking atelier


Najash. A. Hafidh, Owner of Swahili woodworking atelier

“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
Rosina Solo, Basket Weaver


Rosina Solo,
Basket Weaver

Daniel Onyango, Furniture Maker, Nairobi


Daniel Onyango, Furniture Maker, Nairobi

Syprine Agan, Crafts Quality Control Officer


Syprine Agan,
Crafts Quality Control Officer

Ronald Okumu, Leather Tanner


Ronald Okumu, Leather Tanner

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


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

Fatuma Warrio, Traditional Crafts Artisan


Fatuma Warrio, Traditional Crafts Artisan

Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Lamu Door Maker


Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Lamu Door Maker

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


Galgal,
Traditional Crafts Artisan

Kaderdina Hajee Essak, Owner Textile Company


Kaderdina Hajee Essak, Owner Textile Company

Hakule Dida, Traditional Crafts Artisan


Hakule Dida, Traditional Crafts Artisan

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


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

Jonathan Charo, Bag Maker


Jonathan Charo,
Bag Maker

Hadija Bakari, Palm Leaf Weaver


Hadija Bakari,
Palm Leaf Weaver

Godano Tuke, Traditional Crafts Artisan


Godano Tuke, Traditional Crafts Artisan

Gabriel Odongi Dimba, Outdoor Furniture Maker using Hyacinth Fiber


Gabriel Odongi Dimba, Outdoor Furniture Maker using Hyacinth Fiber

Japheth Munyao, Contemporary Crafts Artisan


Japheth Munyao, Contemporary Crafts Artisan

Anab Hersi, Traditional Crafts Artisan


Anab Hersi,
Traditional Crafts Artisan

Caroline Atieno Baraza, Paper Bead Maker


Caroline Atieno Baraza, Paper Bead Maker

Hadija Abduba, Traditional Crafts Artisan


Hadija Abduba, Traditional Crafts Artisan

“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


Carlson George Sandora, Soapstone Carver

Prisca Akinyi, Recycled Metal Crafts Maker


Prisca Akinyi,
Recycled Metal Crafts Maker

Sarah Nyabiage, Soapstone Carver


Sarah Nyabiage, Soapstone Carver

Margaret Okello, Textile Weaver


Margaret Okello,
Textile Weaver