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SEWN AND APPAREL

How to accessorise Kenyan-themed beads

Mind the colours and know when to inscribe your name

In Summary

• Accessories made using the colours of the Kenyan flag make a patriotic statement

• You can style up with bracelets, rings and belts among others if you get it right

Kenyan themed bracelets
Kenyan themed bracelets
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

The spirit of patriotism in the country has moved further into designing accessories in recent years.

People are using beads to create belts, wristbands, neckpieces, leg bands and headbands.

The bands are built to last and incorporate the colours of the Kenyan flag: black, white, green and red.

Black symbolises the people of Kenya, green symbolises the natural wealth of the country, white symbolises peace and red symbolises the blood shed during the fight for independence.

Beads, whether sewn on apparel or worn on strings, have symbolic meanings.

The beads may, for instance, be protective, for warding off evil spirits or spells, or they can be good luck charms.

BEADED BELT

Men have a choice to wear these beaded belts that have the Kenyan theme when attending cultural functions.

The belt goes well with white/black shirt, red/black pair of trousers, and plain black or red pair of shoes.

This is to avoid looking too colourful because the belt has four colours.

The shirt should be well tucked in, showing the waist, which is covered in the themed belt.

The beaded belts are part of jewellery so they should not be covered like the other normal belts.

It’s not advisable to inscribe your name or even the word Kenya on a belt, that’s too much detail.

BEADED WRISTBAND/BRACELET

Most people wear these bracelets as part of their daily routine; the bracelet is never removed from the hand.

This is because they are knitted to be fitting. Some children even grow in their bracelets.

For bracelets, which are a less visible accessory, you are allowed to have your name inscribed in it, or someone special’s name.

These wristbands come in a wide range of themes; we don’t have just the black bands.

People have explored these colours, designing blue, red and green bands but still fitting within the Kenyan theme.

The width of the band can be extended, making it a bit thicker.

BEADED RING

The Maasai tribe, which is well known for making these beads, has new ideas for the beaded Kenyan themes.

There’s a new accessory in the market that forms a thicker band but extends to form a ring.

This accessory can be worn with any outfit, it's not limiting.