Our artisans currently work in collaborative groups, but they will soon form into their own independent cooperatives. We have five main categories of craftsmanship: tailoring, weaving, jewelry making, leatherwork, and sculpture, and we hope to be adding a metalwork group in the coming year.
At Kaz’O’zah Art, tailoring has taken a new direction from what Burundian artisans used to sew and create. In fact, the emphasis is in each and every detail, such as choosing the color of a thread that will fit the color of the kitenge fabric to ensure the perfection of our modernized designs. Our tailors make everything from dresses and blazers to totes and make-up bags.
The evolution of jewelry making has gone from archaic and repetitive designs to a variety of beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces and other accessories. The Kaz’O’zah Art jewelry makers source all of their materials locally and use beading and crocheting to create a unique style of jewelry. We also have jewelry makers who specialize in creating items made out of vegetable ivory.
Weaving baskets has been part in the traditional Burundian craftsmanship for as long as one can remember. At Kaz’O’zah Art, we cherish the work of our weavers but we teach them to create different models of baskets, such as wine holders and intricate jewelry baskets. Our goal is to reintroduce the use of baskets in a fashionable way and to revalorize our ancestors’ work.
Kaz’O’zah Art has increased the market of our leather workers by introducing a variety of unique products that includes not only shoes and sandals, but also note book holders, check book holders, glasses cases, and many more. Currently, our artisans only use semi-leather material, but we are hoping to introduce full-leather products this coming year!
We work with a small group of woodworkers, who create innovative objects needed in our everyday life. Some examples of the products they carve include business card holders, key chains, candle holders, and mirror frames. Our woodworkers source all of their wood from Burundi, with the primary sources being eucalyptus and cedar.
We also work with artisans, who have been trained to carve vegetable ivory, a sustainable and ecologically friendly alternative to animal ivory that makes beautiful jewelry.