Photo by Sultan Somjee
In towns and remote rural areas, women raised families and also managed stores. They came as teenage or child brides and died as grandmothers here. A woman's dowry ornaments often provided security for businesses and sometimes even capital for expansion or restart after collapse.
Photo courtesy Asian African Heritage Exhibition 2000 - 2006
Bead Shop, Embu, Kenya 1930s. Bharat Patel identified this store as that of his grandfather Gordhan Bhai Javer Bhai Patel. The home was often behind and attached to the duka. Notice the beads on right. Each ethnic region had a completely different scheme of beads that patterned body ornaments. Kenya alone has forty ethnic groups. Hence the trade in beads in the first half of the last century was huge. The Bead Bais worked on tribal beads in their family stores in the most remote places in Africa at the equator.
Photo courtsey Shameen Manji
Small town rural duka. Notice sweets in jars in front (2 for tongolo, 1 for dhururu)). Often the Bais cooked sweets like simsim balls for these window jars. They would also arrange and display strings of beads. Notice some strings of beads hanging at the back in this small rural duka.