Monkeybiz (https://monkeybiz.co.za) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reviving the tradition of African Bead work, taking the love and knowledge that is passed down, over the centuries, from mother to child and becoming a bridge from traditional bead works into contemporary artworks.
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. Colors are invested with meaning.
Beading is also central to Sangoma (traditional healers) training reflecting the various phases of initiation and rites of passage.
With Society taking up a more modern way of life and moving into the cities, many of these traditions have fallen away, together with the old beading techniques and culture.
We like art with a purpose. These bead works exist because of the work of a South African organization helping south African women living in townships, to develop a craft and care for their children.