Aqal ✿ Stories from Africa
The aqal is a Somali thatched hut that is often adorned by weavings, making it a live-in gallery. You can read how Muhubo Suleiman recreated the aqal of her childhood in a Melbourne high-rise apartment. Our stories from Africa often involve these traditional spaces, like the boma or makan or kraal.
Explore the many beautiful and inspiring objects kept alive in Africa today.
Paula do Prado ✿ My abuela’s hands - Paula do Prado shares the story of her family’s epic story from Africa via Uruguay to Australia, as reflected in her intricately threaded creations. Balafon: wood-tongue-talk - In the fourth instalment of #africamade_n_played, Gary Warner writes about an enchanting West African instrument that gives voice to trees. New Zulu beads to be worn with pride - Mbuso Zondi's commitment to his Zulu culture is reflected in his project to create new beads that use more traditional materials that those imported in the past. [Re:]Entanglements in Nigeria - Nigerian artists Jennifer Ogochukwu Okpoko and Dr RitaDoris Edumchieke Ubah are inspired by colonial photographs to make new textile work drawing on the heritage of uli body and wall painting. Life in a boma - Anniina Sandberg shares her experience of living in a Tanzanian Maasai family compound with the goats and an occasional scorpion.
I wear letters from the past - Lara Daryl Landsberg re-creates letters from her Oupa to create a jewellery series that reconnects with her childhood. Moffat Takadiwa: The art of small things - Jenan Taylor returns to her southern African roots, drawn by the mysterious smell of soap, to discover the place where Zimbabwe's iconic sculptor gathers his materials and community. Wissa-Sophy: Back to the woven garden - Passent Nossair returns to the refreshing gardens of El Harraneya in Giza, Egypt, where she learns the remarkable story of Wissa Wassef, whose belief in the inner creativity of children helped build a weaving workshop of international renown. Andile Dyalvane ✿ uTyityilizi - Our December laurel goes to the South African ceramicist Andile Dyalvane for his powerful vessel titled, uTyityilizi. 4,000-year-old string discovered in Egypt - At Garland, we love stories of string. This rich article from a publication about coastal cultures includes the story of how perfectly preserved papyrus rope was discovered in a man-made cave in the ancient Egyptian harbour of Saww. String-lovers will enjoy this. Paying the school fees: Bolga baskets in Ghana - NGO TradeAid is based in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East region of Ghana. Its goal is to end poverty in the northern regions. We hear from the weavers about the value of Bolga baskets in the lives of themselves and those they care for. The social lamellophone - Gary Warner guides us through the journey of a lamellaphone, from its history in Africa to its urban reconstruction in Sydney as a social object. This article betrays a unique interplay between art, craft, music and community. Zambia, I presume by Auditor Chiyonkoma - Nearby the majestic Victoria Falls, Auditor Chiyonkoma has created a business making wooden objects so that tourists can take away works of Zambian craft along with their memories. Auditor's story gives us a glimpse of how someone comes to be a maker in Africa today. The Bolga basket: Ahmedabad comes to Accra - The purpose of the initiative is to adapt sensitively basket-making traditions, practices and challenges facing Africa’s women basket weavers, through drawing on the experience and knowledge of India’s traditional craft and highly developed design sectors.