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False msafiri 8 Jewellery of the Maasai Beadwork has always been an important aspect of Maasai culture – not only for its beauty, but also for its significance in traditional ceremonies, such as the warrior’s rite of passage. The various colours of the beads symbolize different aspects of the Maasai’s pastoral lifestyle. Red, for example, signifies bravery, strength and unity; blue and green represent the water and grass that’s so crucial to the health of the Maasai’s cattle herds, while white denotes purity and health, because it is the colour of the milk that nourishes the community. Hospitality is depicted by orange and yellow beads – the colours of the gourds and animal skins that are offered to guests. Black, meanwhile, symbolizes the people and the natural hardships that are part of life.