Jewelry designer Carolyn Roumeguere grew up with the African Maasai tribe. From a young age, they instilled in her a sense of shape, color and design. After a decade of working internationally as a model, Carolyn decided to return to Africa intending to write her childhood memoires. Roumeguere built a hut on the edge of the Mara River and to support herself she put together a collection of necklaces which sparked global interest. Before long she was threading more beads than words. In the last months, Carolyn has moved to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico where she is finding new inspiration and influences for her work. We asked her to tell us about her experience with Africa.
What are some of your favourite memories of Africa, and specifically, the Masaai tribe?
Africa....the smell of the red earth after the rains...Sunsets that look like Mexican fire opals...The songs of the warriors that were my lullabies as I fell asleep by the fire in Maasai houses ...The laughter and camaraderie between wives that share the same husband...The skies and feeling that there is no limit...That is what I grew up with
What type of education did the Masaai women teach you in your childhood?
They taught me all I know about shape and design and how to thread beads, I understood then about balance and harmony in design
Who would you consider to be your early influences?
Obviously the Maasai but also my mother’s eclectic collection of antique jewellery and the unconventional way she put things together and later tribal jewellery from all over the world and my friend Angela Fisher who photographed it all for her book ‘Africa Adored’.