This non profit organization is led by Stephanie Zabriskie, and is born from the incredible healing experience she had when traveling to reach some of the most isolated tribes of the world.
Once deep inside the Maasai community in Tanzania, she was drawn to help communicate their story, and alleviate their struggles.
Stephanie travels to Africa throughout the year, buying original pieces of jewelry from the Maasai Tribes, and selling them around the world in order to purchase celan water that she then brings all the way back to them.
This jewelry/water exchange is such a basic ancient transaction of culture and survival and it’s amazing to be able to contribute in any way from the comfort of our lives.
The jewelry is stunning an a real treasure from a far away land.
Stephanie also organizes trips for groups of people that want to visit the tribe and get to know a bit of Africa in a deeper way.
1. What do you enjoy the most about your work?
The most wonderful thing about Maasai Water Project is that people can make a huge impact with a small act. We create the opportunity for buyers to save lives with the simple act of buying jewelry. Maasai mothers living in remote areas are able to sell their beautiful one of a kind jewelry to people from all over the globe. We connect these two worlds to protect the Maasai people's survival through sharing their rich culture from their hands to yours.
2.How did you start your project?
In their everyday lives, Maasai people wear beautiful handmade jewelry to signify their personal qualities and place in society. Maasai culture also heavily uses specialized jewelry in all their cultural ceremonies. When we learned of their struggle to access safe clean water, providing opportunities for the Maasai women to sell jewelry to the developed world as a means of financial support was a natural fit.
3. What are the materials or more useful tools that are used in making these pieces?
The Maasai women use glass beads, wire, thread and some plastic and brass details to fasten each unique piece. Each piece is made with care by hand.
Maasai women work to perfect their craft all their lives. Jewelry making is uniquely personal and each piece holds deep meaning for every person who wears it. We are honored by the opportunity to offer such bespoke and culturally significant pieces to our buyers.
4. What object do you cherish the most?
While each item is uniquely beautiful, the wedding pieces are particularly stunning. The all white motifs and exaggerated shapes beautifully convey the distinctive nature of these cherished pieces.