Olivia Knox is an interior accessories company born out of seeing the beauty in Ankole horn, which has a distinctive light ivory colour. The company was founded by Olivia Byanyima who hails from Uganda and lives in New York, and Shanley Knox from California, and is driven by the story of Olivia’s childhood in Uganda, where she spent a lot of time on her father’s ranch watching his herd of Ankole cattle roam the surrounding plains alongside buffalo, zebra, leopard and lion.
She recalls how her father knew the names of his cows, and tales he would tell her of his ancestors, who were the ancient rulers of the Buhweju kingdom, using these takes as a way to teaching Olivia about life and to impart the knowledge of a culture centered around a love of people and animals of which the Ankole Cow is revered.
The Ankole cattle breed are known for their long distinctive horns that can span up to 8 ft long. Native to Africa Ankole cattle are said to be named after the Watusi tribe of East Africa, and are a breed that the nomadic Bahima and Tutsi people have relied on for sustenance and social status, establishing a culture and identity as cattle keepers. And it is this deep-rooted heritage that forms the ethos of Olivia Knox.
“Once upon a time, my tribe built kingdoms around our cattle, the Ankole Longhorn.
– Olivia Byanyima
Olivia Knox partners with leading global brands including, Bloomingdales, Indego Africa, Dannijo and Anthroplogie to design items from bowls to vases to glasses frames, all expertly handcrafted by the skilled local artisans the company works with.
These products are creating new markets for Ankole horn, which in turn is increasing the cattle’s economic value to local Ugandan ranchers by giving them an incentive to continue their ancient practice of raising the Ankole in the face of shifting approaches to farming in Africa which has led to the crossbreeding of ankole with higher milk yielding breeds to generate increased income.
Through its efforts Olivia Knox is helping to preserve a culturally significant way of life and enable local ranchers to take care of their families.
For further information about Olivia Knox visit: www.olivia-knox.com
To purchase Olivia Knox visit Indego Africa: https://shop.indegoafrica.org
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