By partnering together, we are able to create beautiful pieces handmade from the ankole horn which increases the value of the breed and provides incentive for farmers to keep the Ankole breed pure.
When we stumbled upon the work of the Craftsmen of Kampala, we were mesmerized by the beautiful rare ankole cow horn material and the craftsmanship that was put into every piece. But to our surprise, as we got to learn more about the material and the group, there was much more significance in the history and culture behind the ankole horn.
Ankole horn comes from a stunning breed of cattle, native and exclusive to East Africa, that is known for their distinctive horns. The horns are some of the largest in the world and can reach up to eight feet.
However, due to the demands of Western agriculture, farmers and ranchers started to cross-breed this native cattle with the Holstein cow which produces more milk. In order to increase profits for their families, this led to the decreased population of the Ankole cow and is threatening the sacred and unique culture of East Africa's nomadic tribes. For centuries, the people of the Nyankole and Tutsi tribe relied on the Ankole cattle for sustenance and means of social status. The Ankole cattle established itself as a symbol of culture and identity in the world of cattle keepers.
With the African cattle population slowly decreasing, the Craftsmen of Kampala in Uganda strives to build a sustainable business for both the environment and the people and preserve their ancient culture. By partnering together, we are able to create beautiful pieces handmade from the ankole horn which increases the value of the breed and provides incentive for farmers to keep the Ankole breed pure.
The Ankole cow horn pieces in our collection are all ethically sourced and is exclusively taken after the horn is discarded by local meat markets. The bone is carefully cleaned, hand cut, polished, and molded to create various pieces from homeware to jewelry. You can truly see the care and attention to detail behind each piece. They are entirely handmade and created with the effort of several time intensive processes. Every horn is unique in their beautiful color variations from light to dark with stripes of ivory, black and brown. There are no two horns that are identical, which makes every single one of these rare in its own way.