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It's needless to say: we love horn. It is a traditional material used in African jewelry making and it was a given for us to include it in our own designs. It is an incredibly beautiful and durable material that comes in the most amazing natural shades of white, grey, brown and black. However, because it's an animal product, every now and then we are facing some criticism. This is why we would like to share some more information on this matter and tell you a little story, with which we would like to show that things aren't always so black and white.
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Our horn discs are made from the Ankole longhorn, also known as the "cattle of kings". It is an Eastern African cattle breed that captivates with its large and beautiful horns. As impressive as their headgear is, one can imagine that for modern, industrial cattle breeding the size of these animals is not very handy - they simply take up too much space. Their horns might present a nice by-product but in order for them to become really large and valuable, these animals need to live a long life - also not very compatible with the industry.
Luckily, small tribal farmers in rural areas in Eastern Africa make use of the expanse of the African steppe and continue breeding these beautiful animals on a smaller scale. They can cover their own milk meat needs and sell the horn, which is especially being used for jewelry as well as other ornaments. In consequence, by serving this little niche market, these tribal farmers contribute to the biodiversity of cattle in Eastern Africa. So by adding horn elements into our handmade African jewelry collection, we equally support the continued breeding of these beautiful animals as well as small, tribal farmers in Eastern Africa. That is what we call a win-win situation.
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Photo Credit Daniel Naudé