The Ankole cow, native to Africa, boasts large, curved horns that can reach up to eight feet tall. Over decades, the population of the breed drastically shrunk due to crossbreeding. With a vision to create new markets in Ugandan communities and improve the economic value of the Ankole breed, Olivia Knox was founded as a 100% female owned and managed social enterprise.
Artisans at Olivia Knox, based in Uganda, are involved in the creative design and manufacturing process of Ankole cow horn. After purchasing raw materials from sustainably-sourced abattoirs, and using saw and sanding machines, the cow horn is treated and crafted into a line of beautiful vessels for the home.
The horn, as a byproduct of local markets, helps ranchers utilize the entire cow. Rather than just using it for milk or meat, the farmers are able to grow their profit, sustainably growing the local economy. Through creating new markets for Ankole horn, Olivia Knox is improving the economic value of this culturally significant breed – providing incentive for Ugandan ranchers to continue their ancient practice of raising the Ankole. The tribe’s culture is celebrated; protecting and celebrating their rich history.
Repurposing Ankole horn is at the heart of conservation. Horn’s versatility, natural variation and organic beauty is only enhanced by the dual goal of bringing East African craftsmanship to luxury markets and conserving the indigenous Ankole cow, which would otherwise be at risk of becoming extinct.