Behind the scenes interviewing Mulberry Mongoose Founder, Kate Wilson –> we discover a shop less ordinary, where jewellery conceptualizes culture, community, conservation, empowerment and African beauty through three creative collections: Snare Wire, The African Bush & Zambian Heritage.
The intricacies of each piece are breathtaking, although it’s the inspiration behind the first which has caught our attention. Not only exquisitely unique by design, the snare wire collection exemplifies a greater meaning:
“BEAUTY FROM BRUTALITY”, as phrased by a client of Mulberry Mongoose who was equally enthralled, represents the process of hand-crafting jewellery from poachers’ snare wires. (A time consuming, surprisingly strenuous and highly skilful procedure, hammering, coiling, sanding and finally beautifying – as seen in this video by Andrew Macdonald).
Described by ZCP (Zambian Carnivore Programme) “these devastating poaching tools can inflict significant injuries and mortality on all mammal species” – find out more about their de-snaring efforts here in conjunction with Conservation South Luangwa, who label snare “the silent killer”. There are many contributing factors to the rise in poaching in the parks, with increasing populations and a high demand for bushmeat, poaching is a critical issue which is difficult to control. ZCP & CSL collate information to ensure anti-snaring patrol teams are deployed in targeted areas and have played an essential role in educating people about their crucial efforts, having removed over 10000 snares.
“More than 160 elephants, 25 lions, 20 hyenas have been immobilized and treated for snare wounds since 2005” (CSL).
The ladies of Mulberry Mongoose have made an incredible contribution to the cause, raising over $72000, supporting anti-snare patrols for rangers whom Kate describes as the awe-inspiring people working “on the front line of conservation”. They face innumerable hurdles to protect wildlife. It is a calling and yet they do what they do for us all; we all benefit from their protecting our heritage”
Support a greater cause – wear a ‘symbol of conservation’ and spark the conversation!
Kate explains her hope for spreading an anti-poaching message and attracting attention to the issue:
“ The much-asked question amongst women: ‘I love your necklace, where did you get that from?’ starts a conversation that leads to their friends learning about snare poaching. The wearer gets to share how each piece of jewellery is made by our lovely and courageous ladies and is made from locally made beads whilst it gives back to anti snare patrols. “
The Original Snare necklace is her personal favourite, “Made almost entirely from snare wire and containing over 25 snare beads. Each hammered snare bead takes 1 hour to create and so this necklace takes over 26 hours to make. The great challenge of taking something so ugly and destructive and turning it into a thing that stands out in a crowd makes me very proud. Supermodel Doutzen Kroes wore our Original Snare necklace in 2017 and it was a special moment where brutal snare wire became beautiful fashion on one of the world’s top models.”
Mulberry Mongoose in Malawi
Snare-wire poaching is hugely problematic throughout parks in Africa, with African Parks tackling the issue here in Malawi, successfully removing over 26 000 snares in Liwonde National Park alone (more than the number of animals in the park)! We’re thrilled to assist the delivery of some of these wires to the doorstep of Mulberry Mongoose in Zambia!
You can now buy their products here too! La Caverna Art Gallery in Blantyre and Blue Zebra Island Lodge stock a selection of the snare collection and hopefully many other lodges and shops will follow soon!
Join Malawian Style and South Luangwa Safaris on our next adventure, with a special stop at Mulberry Mongoose!
Having been born and brought up in Malawi Jen always knew her beloved home country would bring her back one day. After spending 15 years in the UK and then 2 years travelling and working in Australia she decided it was time to head back to her roots. With a degree in Hospitality Management as well as her love for the African bush and passion for travel she decided to look at perusing a career within the Travel Industry, joining the Sales and Marketing team. Over the years she has spent a lot of time travelling through both Malawi and Zambia and looks forward to exploring more of the magnificent parks and wildlife they both have to offer.