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Ostrich Eggshell
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The Women of Women's Work

Ostrich Eggshell Beaders - The Women of the San Bushman Community

Xhari Theme -The 73-year-old matriarch of a long line of acclaimed bead makers, Xhari Theme still produces some of the finest beads in the Kalahari. The smooth consistency and stylish flare Xhari Theme has in making the beads and stringing the jewelry is rivaled by none. From her jewelry making, she has been able to send her children to private schools resulting in an extremely accomplished and well-respected family unit. Her oldest son is a tribal elder, highly regarded, largely due to the respect she has achieved. My family and I have been hosted by Xhari at her home village and treated royally. On one trip, as I fumbled around to find firewood, returning to camp with a few sticks to use, Mma Theme had organized a fire for us and shared her water, a precious commodity, during our stay.

Mamashwe Kikonyane - Daughter of Xhari Theme, Namashwe has become an expert beader herself. Employed as a craft trainer, Namashwe has taken her private school education and made a mark for herself. She hopes to go back to high school then complete a Bachelor's Degree then work for the government speaking for and up for her family and the San bushmen community she is a part of. Namashwe has two children.

Mickey Camm is a mother of two with a full-time job as craft trainer with a non-profit organization. She is quite a character with a sweet but sly disposition. She has had little formal education but works hard at making the beads, is energetic about her job and brings a vibrance to any situation she is in. Mickey's boyfriend, Lentlotse is an exception in Botswana in that when Mickey is away doing training sessions in remote settlements, he will care for the household and the children. To make extra money, he will make jewelry including working the ostrich eggshell into beads--some mighty fine beads, at that!)

Marea Camm has been working with a non-profit for many years. She and Mickey are related (somehow) and work closely as families often do. Marea has a toddler and an infant along with her extended family to support on her salary. She is stoic in her demeanor, and so when she smiles, it is especially heartwarming.

Thitanya Kushonya is one of the premier basket weavers in Botswana and a very special woman. Learn more about her and Botswana Baskets.

 

Sibanda's Crafts - Nestled in the small town of Maun was set up by Amanda Heywood originally from England. The craft workshop trains local women to paint beautiful fabrics and run a business. Once the women are able to manage the production and the operation on their own, Amanda will hand Sibanda's Crafts over to them.

Sibanda's Crafts worrkshop

The Local Women of Women's Work -
Some exciting things are happening at WW that includes Cora Dinio, Connie Marcelo, Becky Nielsen, Frances Becker, and some other local artisans like: Ancient Images' Goddess Exhibition and Fire and Ice Study in Ancient Forms.

2006-8 Womens Work All rights reserved