For centuries, the nomadic
Barabaig tribe of East Africa has roamed the plains and savannas,
adorning themselves with beautiful rings, bracelets, and jewelry.
Through the Amias Project, the Barabaig now want to send their beautiful
things and their stories around the world.
On one return to Tanzania, Nichole Smaglick,
founder of Amias and Another Land, was reunited with a wise, old
Barabaig woman named Udada. She gave Nichole a bracelet and told
her, "When you go home, use this to tell others about me."
With that, the idea of Amias was born.
Since then, the project has mobilized over
200 Barabaig men and women in central Tanzania to design and craft
jewelry and handbags inspired by traditional fashions. The project
aims to uplift and empower traditional culture. It also helps generate
significant income and educational opportunities for disadvantaged
Amias and its fair trade mission have allowed
families to find stability in a region wracked by hardship and frequent
drought. More parents now send their children to school, and they
have enough food in times of need. They are increasing their livestock
and making plans for the future.
Amias, in the ancient language of the Barabaig,
means "beautiful." So when wearing Amias jewelry or handbags,
always remember that you are wearing hope, the story of the Barabaig,
and something beautiful.