The Kazuri beads Miriam selected are because the speckled colorations reminded Miriam of the Kalahari lions, a subspecies of lions that live in the Kalahari region. The bead glazes show the same distinctive black, golden and reddish brown that distinguish the manes of the male lions that patrol the Kalahari Desert. These fiercely territorial and bold males patrol invisible boundaries, father the cubs, and discipline the unruly. The graceful, golden brown lionesses make up the majority of the pride, mothering the future leaders and bringing down the prey that will feed the pride and sustain its strength.
KAZURI BEADS are imported from Kenya. Kazuri is the Swahili word for “small and beautiful”… And Kazuri beads are beautiful. Lady Sarah Wood and two African women began making the colorful beads in 1975 on the lawn of Isak Dinesen’s Kenyan coffee plantation, the same plantation seen by millions in the well-known movie “Out of Africa.” Today, this bead business offers employment and income for more than 200 Kenyan women living near the foothills of Mt. Kenya, who are often the sole providers for their children and families. Each bead is shaped by hand from clay – fired, painted, fired and glazed, and then fired again in an electric kiln. Up to five different colors may be used on one bead to create the pattern, and no two beads are exactly alike. The beads used in this necklace are intricately glazed in, “tomato” (a reddish-brown), pewter, black, and metallic gold, which glistens in the sunlight, alongside the solid black onyx from Miriam’s private collection of stones.