Learn more about Turkana Beads
Looking to add an authentic piece of artisan tribal Kenyan culture to your next jewelry design? Look no farther! With our vast selection of ethically sourced Turkana beads in differing shapes, sizes and colors your options are unlimited. The Turkana semi nomadic Nilotic people native to the northwest region of Kenya. The Turkana make up about 2.5% of the the Kenyan population making them the third largest ethnic group in Kenya. The Turkana speak a eastern Nilotic language property named Turkana. The Turkana are known for weaving baskets, raising camels and their artisan beads and jewelry. Turkana beads can be seen being used in many jewelry designs across West Africa and have been becoming more popular to use in jewelry designs in countries like the United States and Eastern Europe.
The Turkana have a very interesting culture and lifestyle. Traditionally Turkana men and women wear clothing made out of animal skins and woven materials. Turkana women often wear very intricate jewelry designs, such as, necklaces, bracelets, waist chains and earrings. It is popular for Turkana men and women to keep their heads completely shaved due to the heat in the northwest region of Kenya. The Turkana people have very elaborate clothing styles and use adornments and patterns to distinguish certain members of the community. Various adornment styles of clothing are used to show the age, status and development stages of certain groups in the Turkana communities. Often Turkan men carry stools known as ekicholong around with them during the day to use as portable chair throughout the day. It is also very common for Turkana man to carry various staves for multiple different uses, such as, a walking balancing stick and others are to help herd animals. Turkana heavily rely on their animals for meat, milk, blood and nutrition. Commonly woman gather wild fruits throughout the days for their families while the men will roast goat and other livestock meat. The Turkana construct their homes out of wooden framework of saplings and cover the structure with palms from doum trees, as well as, with the skins and hides of livestock. A few well known Turkana people include Paul Ereng an olympic athlete who competed in the 1988 olympic games and Ajuma Nasenyana a well known supermodel.Now that you know a little more about the interesting culture of the Turkana people, feel free to browse our selection of Turkana bead strands. From our vintage red Kenyan Turkana beads to our white Turkana bone beads your choices are numerous.