The Maasai Market is a modern display of an indigenous people’s culture. It sells African artefacts and has become a convergence zone for various kinds of people, including tourists, in search of ‘authentic’ African souvenirs.
The market is open several days a week at different locations in Nairobi. The sector has attracted private individuals to open up shop in various towns, mostly tourist destinations. The Maasai sculpture is one of the most famous art works that depicts the culture of the community.
Maasai Market Empowerment Trust (MMET)
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The Maasai Market Empowerment Trust (MMET), an NGO for artisans at the Maasai Market and other parts of the country, seeks to inform, educate and empower artisans and handicraft makers on intellectual property and protect their creations and inventions through patenting and trade marking. Seminars, campaigns, workshops and other awareness programmes have been used to do this.
The trust also hopes to give financial help to members to expand their businesses. The trust organized an intellectual property rights campaign to agitate for the return of the kiondo (basket), kikoi and other Kenyan innovations that have been patented elsewhere, to their rightful owners.