Ol Malo


Sampiripiri means butterfly in Samburu. These colourful warriors are often referred to as ‘Northern Butterflies’, flitting from one place to another following the rain. This is an apt name for our lively Arts Workshop – the heart of the Ol Malo Trust, where each day 30 women gather to produce their traditional beadwork in modern designs, and over 100 children come to paint. Their bright beads and clothing can be seen for miles as they make their way to and from the workshop at dawn and dusk.

Naaripisho Women’s Bead-work Programme

‘Naaripisho’ translates as ‘group of people doing beadwork’. The women are paid for their work, which is then marketed and sold through Ol Malo Designs, and the profits from the sale are ploughed straight back into the Trust. Thus the women are supporting themselves and their families, and are ensuring the continuance of their traditional beadwork along with their community and its way of life.

To date the Arts Workshop has trained over 100 women in the beadwork skill they need to produce the incredibly intricate design-work required. We have 35 girls trained on leather and aluminium metal work, all materials used within our design. The programme has advanced from a few women making bracelets under the branches of a tree to a studio full of women making spectacular works of art.

Ol Malo has a studio / showroom in Nairobi, and is beginning to export and wholesale the quantities necessary to continue training and employing the Samburu women. Some of our items can be purchased in the US through Economic Development Imports.

Our Beading Women (profiles written by the Samburu themselves)

Noonkipa was born of Leruso family. A Samburu woman raised in Muridjo. Till her marriage to Leere family she had been a herd girl to her family. Joined the Sampiripiri Art Workshop 1998 as the project beginner. Till now she is heading the workshop in the bead work.

Mama Isto is a Samburu woman, married by Leshooro family, and gave birth to a good number of children. She joined Ol Malo Sampiripiri Art Workshop 1998 as a project pioneer. She loves her work despite travelling to Ol Malo every morning from Nterim. Mother to a baby girl named Julia Narok.

Damaris was born and raised as a Samburu woman, married by Lenoongiro family. She joined the workshop for beadwork in the year 1998. She is a good and hardworking Samburu woman and helped to feed her family.

Nasawa was born and raised in Lterim, where she got married to Loltienya family, and later joined the workshop at 1998 as the first woman to start the Art Workshop. She is a wonderful mother to Karatira who came to Ol Malo to play, and now Karatira is married and has a baby who comes to Ol Malo to play.

Mama Biazon was born and raised in Samburu tribe, where she got married to Lenoongiro family. Lived at Muridjo area with her family where she joined the workshop as bead woman in 1998. Up to now she has taken care of her family as far as feeding is concerned. She loves her work and her family

Sampiri Arts Programme Sampiri Arts Programme


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