AYAM Africa – Where Jewelry and Humanitarianism Meet
As I’ve said many times, there is something immensely deep about tribal jewelry. It goes beyond what meets the eye. Its profoundness lays in civilizations it comes from, cultures it represents, people it celebrates. In a way, it is a history book wrapped in a work of art. And AYAM Africa is a true representation of this.
AYAM Africa is a socially conscious jewelry brand, designing and delivering pieces from the heart of Africa run strictly on fair trade principles.
Brand’s founder is a British Elizabeth Glaysher who spent her childhood in Kenya, embracing its customs and learning to speak Swahili. Growing up with creative talent, Elizabeth first came to limelight as a costume design for famous films such as Out of Africa, Constant Gardner, and Gorillas in the Mist.
After moving to Dubai in latter years, she longed for Africa and started designing jewelry that would help her stay in touch with African tradition. However, more than just a nostalgic move, it turned out to be a way to support local artisans, traders, and merchants that she collaborated with. Through this adventure, artisans were able to build a sustainable income and empower their communities.
By purchasing a piece of jewelry from AYAM Africa, artisan families directly benefit and can maintain a reliable living. The brand also supports and purchase its packaging bags from the Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project, who fund their project by making gift bags.
All AYAM’s designs are hand made in Kenya from a variety of natural materials including: recycled glass, cow horn, bone, antique trade beads, brass, seeds, and precious stones, all of which are sourced across Africa and designed in collaboration with local artisans.
AYAM Africa Designs
African Queen is the brand’s ultimate statement necklace and one of its bestselling pieces. It is pretty much equivalent to tiara in African culture and oozes with radiance and femininity. For those who prefer a lighter weight in jewelry, there is also an African Queen II edition. It is essentially the same design in a smaller form.
Another wonderful piece is a Blue & Silver Leaf necklace with hammered silver leaves and blue recycled glass beads. There is also a gold version with orange beads for the warmer tone lovers. Leaves are so elegant, yet beads add that tribal feel that gives it pop and makes for quite a contrasting combination.
On a bit more extravagant side is the Twisted Gold Leaf necklace showcasing hammered brass leaves on ten strands of gold & silver Ethiopian tube beads mixed with Ghana glass seed beads. This necklace shines with a sparkly sass and is a striking statement piece.
Magical Marbiney is yet another statement piece made of Marbiney tree seeds colored in rich earthy tones and accented with beautiful brass coil pendant. It is a traditional necklace of the Kenyan Masai tribe that is still worn today.
Pendant Power necklace displays a beautifully crafted pendant that extends over 12 inches of hanging pieces including cattle horn and brass. The pendant is attached to a 7-inch brass choker.
Continuing with AYAM’s fascinating designs, we shouldn’t overlook the gorgeous Beaded Coptic Choker. It features intricately hand-sewn beading on leather and a lovely pendant with a precisely carved Coptic cross with brass borders and centered agate stone. This choker is a true piece of art.
There are several other designs that are wonderfully crafted and worthy of admiration nonetheless. To see them all, make sure to visit ayamafrica.net.