Animal Puppets from Kenya

January 23, 2008




Last summer at the NY Gift Show I found and posted about the fantastic toys made in Kenya by the Kenana Knitters Group.
Happily, we are now the proud owners of a set of Kenana animal puppets. They are so delightful! We have 7 — enough so that everyone in the family can participate — and they absolutely do invite participation.

Well designed. Soft colors. Good proportions. Great texture and materials. Each toy is made with home spun wool, dyed with natural plant dye, and knitted by a huge group of women in Kenya. Each piece is signed by the woman who knitted it.

But the best part is the concept behind the company. From their website: The Kenana Knitters group enables its workers to directly benefit from their efforts and create a self-sufficient community. With your purchases, we have been able to increase employment drastically in both Kenya and the United States, provide full physicals and ongoing medical treatment for each knitter and their families. We have even begun construction on a school located within the farm boundaries.

What a treat to own something so lovingly and respectfully made. I can’t imagine a child who wouldn’t love these. And I think I have a crush on Gloria, the good woman who is behind the whole project.

You can find Kenana products here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Biddy January 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm

*sigh* oh how that makes me miss Kenya! it is such a magical place.

I should post pictures of the hand carved christmas ornaments I got the last time I was there…

thanks for sharing!


2 Desiree January 23, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I love this! A good friend of mine from Kenya runs a similar mission: She employs women from her home town to knit gorgeous baby clothes (she’s a former fashion model and her creations are amazing). Most of the women are widows to AIDS and this a way for them to earn a living. They are provided with a safe place to knit where they can also watch their children. And benefits also go to my friend’s orphanage in the same town, So your purchase not only benefits women in Kenya but also improves the lives of these orphans.


3 Mom101 January 24, 2008 at 9:30 am

I love their stuff! Beautiful work and such a great story behind it.

Another great source for their puppets is Little Green Beans which has more fair trade items along those lines, like the cutest stick horse you’ve ever seen.


4 KJ January 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm

these are wonderful!


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