Traditionally beads through the ages were used not only to adorn the body, but as a measure of value in ritual and economic exchange between locals and foreigners. In traditional African rituals, a fine bead necklace or beaded piece is treasured because it is thought to impart spiritual energy.
These hand beaded porcupines come from South Africa and are created by the organization Monkey Biz.
The majority of Monkeybiz artists have known poverty, neglect and deprivation for most of their lives. Against this background, Monkeybiz has achieved tremendous impact by providing a basic income to many families who would otherwise have been left destitute.
Monkeybiz pays the women immediately as the work is delivered on a market day.
Every artist has a bank account, encouraging money management and helping with cash security.
Monkeybiz pays the beaders according to the quality of their work, encouraging improvement, inspiring higher standards.