History of the Olkereti Good Luck Charm

The Olkereti is a traditional amulet used by the Maasai community when preparing and celebrating a wedding. The amulets are made from the white bull and turned into the wearable amulets that we see the Maasai wearing today around their necks and adorning their hands.

Why the Olkereti Charm Brings Luck

The Olkereti are said to bring luck to newlywed couples and the women of the community when hoping for a child. They are worn and kept by women to help them become pregnant. Once a marriage ceremony has taken place, women line up to get their amulet and then keep it with them to enhance their fertility.

How to Use the Olkereti Charm

The Olkereti are worn around the neck of Maasai women and on the hands of Maasai men. If you were to wear one you would always place it around your neck or on your hand and keep it with you to help you start a family.
This charm is incredibly precious to the Maasai community and they place all their hope into the charms to bring each newly married couple good fertility.

How the Olkereti Charm Is Made

The charm is made from the skin of the dead white bull. They removed the skin and use the rest of the animal in their wedding preparations. The bull skin is scraped to remove the attached fat and then they slice and dry it. When the drying is complete, they then fashion the bull skin into neck and finger amulets ready to be given at the wedding ceremony.

How to Make the Olkereti Charm at Home

You would be unable to make an Olkereti at home in the traditional way but if you use either quick-drying clay or papier-mache you would be able to shape a replica Olkereti at home. You will need to make long thin strips and short strips and then mold them so that they can be linked to make a necklace or molded into a ring.

Your last job before they dry is to make a hole at the ends of the necklace pieces using a hole punch or a boring tool. When dry you then thread them onto the string so you could wear it as the Maasai do.

Interesting and Fun Facts About the Olkereti Charm

  • The Olkereti is placed, by the community’s holy men, onto women who have not yet had children and they keep them in their houses to bring them luck with fertility.
  • Women without children are often seen laying on the floor weeping at these ceremonies to show how unhappy they are to have not yet had children and to show the community how much they want to become pregnant.