Maasai Women Art (MWA) is a social enterprise in Tanzania that creates the exquisite jewellery, beautifully handcrafted by the Maasai women of Mkuru. MWA was founded by Francesca Torri Soldini a senior lecturer at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan.
During a visit to Tanzania she observed the plight of the local Maasai women. Their main source of income was cutting down trees at the foothills of the Kilimanjaro mountain and lumbering the heavy wood to burn and sell as charcoal; which was not only unsustainable and yields a pittance, it also causes deforestation and severely impacts the environment.
MWA helps alleviate the poverty of the Maasai women and combat environmental decline. The social enterprise provides an alternative and more lucrative source of income for the women by incorporating their natural skills and abilities.
The jewellery collection is a fusion of Italian flamboyancy and traditional Maasai Beading - a marriage of tradition and contemporary - designed in Italy by Francesca's design students. Their designs beautifully merge both worlds - are made in Tanzania. Each piece of MWA jewellery is exquisitely handcrafted by the Maasai women in Mkuru, Tanzania and sold in boutiques, galleries and retail establishments internationally in Switzerland, Italy, USA and Australia and now new to the UK at Bakou.