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Maasai Olbene Beaded Leather Bag Kenya African Art

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Product #: 121778
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Title Maasai Olbene Beaded Leather Bag Kenya African Art
Type of Object Bag
Country of Origin Kenya, Tanzania
People Maasai
Materials Leather, beads
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 21 Inches
Width: 18 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair Well worn patina

Additional Information:  A leather bag probably from the Maasai.  The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, along the Great Rift Valley, on semi-arid and arid lands.  Among the Maasai such bags are known as Olbene. Very often they would be embellished with glass beads forming elegant curves, vertical lines and other geometric motifs.  Olbene leather bags were used by women to hold water or other valuable belongs.

For more information and pictures, see Saitoti's "MAASAI," which has examples of these bags.

See also, Marie-Louise Labelle, Beads of Life. Eastern and Southern African Beadwork From Canadian Collections, 2005, fig. 67