This project will use video clips, audio files, photographs, and field notes to document the manufacture, use of ostrich eggshell (OES) beads, and their social significance among the El Molo community of Marsabit County, Kenya. The making and use of these beads have been practices in Africa for thousands of years. The El Molo have made and used these kinds of beads for many centuries now. Still, the practice is slowly dying owing to changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions in the region they live in today.


The project will help in the preservation of this knowledge and the continuation of the craft while at the same time ingraining the cultural significance of the beads within the community as identity markers. It will also help in the advancement of the interpretation of OES beads from archaeological collections in the region, an area that has not received much research attention.


Mr James Munene, Doctoral Candidate, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, University of Michigan

Mr Abdikadir Kurewa,  Department of Culture and Heritage, The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Nairobi
Mr Michael Basili, Gurapau El-molo Community Based Organization

Location of Research:
Kenya—Layieni and Komote villages near Loiyangalani, Marsabit County

Host Institution:
University of Michigan


Top Banner Image: El Molo Village (Photo: Abdikadir Kurewa)