Olivia Knox is based in East Africa exclusively sourcing horn discarded from Ankole meat markets. They craft these horns into custom made products for luxury clients.
Profits from these horns help to preserve the cultural history of the Myankole, (also known as Tutsi), tribe, while working to save the shrinking Ankole cow population. To these tribes, cattle are more than just productive sources of milk, meat and skins. Even now, the keepers of these animals live pastoral lives, their culture deeply rooted in these cattle. The survival of the Ankole is at the heart of cultural and economic debates about indigenous African values and symbolism versus a Western emphasis on commercial concerns.
The demands of Western agricultural economics have pushed ranchers who raise the Ankole to increase profits by cross-breeding with the Holstein cow, which produces more milk. This has not only decreased the population of the Ankole cow, it is threatening to eliminate the sacred culture of East Africa’s nomadic tribes.
Protection of the Ankole is embedded in every step of Olivia Knox production - from increasing rancher’s profit, to revealing dangers of cross breeding, assisting in efforts to market Ankole meat and dairy products, and sharing the story of the Ankole worldwide.
Their work has been supported by USAID, Google ATAP, The UN Global Compact and The African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Interesting facts about Ankole Cow Horn:
Studies have shown it to be good for the skin
It’s naturally non-toxic, and food safe
The only horn in the world that ranges from black shades to ivory.
Largest horn in the world: designs can be made from a single horn and maintain continuity of color patterns
Malleable when heated and can be made into almost any shape after cooling, it can be cut, drilled, twisted, or sanded down to a thickness of .5mm