Africa

Ulo ✿ Putting an African face to lockdown - The lockdown offers an opportunity mask up with African prints—umswenko!
Ogene & Oja ✿ Talking instruments of a playful Igbo crew - For the second instalment in #africamade_n_played, Gary Warner is inspired by the flirtatious whistling and clanging of the Igbo crew, Ejyk Nwamba.
Enkarewa: The Maasai gift of gifts - Denis Odinga Okiya and John Kamanga share their knowledge of the magnificent Maasai beaded necklace.
uhadi & umruhbe ✿ a resonant Xhosa tradition - Gary Warner begins a series #africamade_n_played with a Xhosa stringed instrument that resonates through the body and is played today by a new generation of performers.
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.
Fulu Muziki ✿ Kinshasa noisicians + eco-culturists - Gary Warner begins his series #AfricaMade_n_played with a Congolese ensemble featuring the exuberant instrumentarium of Pisko Crane.
Quarterly Essay ✿ 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.
Muhubo Suleiman ✿ A home within a home - In her Melbourne flat, Muhubo Suleiman has re-created the aqal, thatched hut, her childhood home in Somalia.
Iziqhaza: Designs that open your ears - Hlengiwe Dube recounts the elaborate Zulu tradition of earplugs that inspired her baskets.
Urgent Adornment in South Africa - Beverley Price explains the creative principle of her expedited jewellery and how it is grounded in South African life.
[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.
Stepping out: Africa Fashion Week Middle East - Ansie van der Walt talks to organisers of a new fashion festival in the UAE and profiles leading fashion designers from the region
Life in a boma - Anniina Sandberg shares her experience of living in a Tanzanian Maasai family compound with the goats and an occasional scorpion.
25,000 knots: The hands that make Baba Tree baskets - Awuni Ayine tells us about the fans she makes that were traditionally used for funerals.
Izandla Zethu: Fine jewellery with what’s at hand - Izandla Zethu involves gathering materials at hand in a South African township to craft jewellery that combines honesty and elegance.
Ndomo: Beauty from mud in Mali - Rebecca Hoyes visits Segou on the Niger river to learn the secret of bogolan, mud cloth.
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.
The Eastern Cape made visible through jewellery - Joani Groenewald reflects how her jewellery is drawn from the South African landscape in which she is embedded.
My father was an elephant: Clay dreams in Nigeria - Ngozi Omeje shares her journey through the soothing medium of clay and how it helps honour her family and inspire good works.
Isifociya: The revival of Zulu adornment that protects and beautifies - Khanya Mthethwa transforms the traditional Zulu girdle into a fashion item for proud South Africans
Simb, or the rise and fall of the Fake Lion in Senegal - Joseph Ndione laments the demise of the man-lion street performance that once celebrated the power of nature.
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.
Litema, the pride of a Mosotho woman’s home - ‘Matsooana Sekokotoana is inspired by the litema designs on the homes of her country, which reflect daily life in the villages of Lesotho.
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.
Egypt reclaims niello: A craft for kings and sultans - On the banks of the Nile, Passent Nossair finds the source of a quintessential Egyptian craft.
Embroideries with love from Mauritius - Palmesh Cuttaree has painted scenes that are typical of folklife in his native Mauritius.
With the blessing of Gods and families: A Mauritian Tamil wedding - Veemanda Curpen shares the elaborate rituals and shared joy of her brother’s wedding, in full Tamil tradition with a Mauritian twist.
Creating sanctuary through beading: The South Sudanese Elders group - Caroline Lenette finds herself welcomed with beads into the South Sudanese women's group.
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.
Where did all the flowers go? Tamil festivals in Mauritius - Veemanda Curpen finds new Mauritian approaches to constructing floats for Tamil festivals
Devalued Currencies, Metaphorical Tapestries: “Yaw Owusu – All That Glitters” - Seen from afar, Yaw Owusu's artworks look like pleasantly eye-catching geometrical tapestries made with a sort of glittery paint.
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.
A new festival for Madagascar, the home of wild silk - Indrasen Vencatachellum, long time Director of UNESCO's Craft and Design Programme, introduces a new festival of natural dyes and textiles for Madagascar.
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.
Kazuri , a centre for bead trade in East Africa, by Martina Dempf -     I am a jeweller and Social Anthropologist. My engagement in Africa began in 1978, when I was a volunteer at the Royal Crown Jewellers in Lesotho in southern Africa. In the 1980s I started research as a Social Anthropologist in East Africa, mainly in Sudan and Kenya. As a design consultant I conduct craft and design workshops in Africa, Asia and Europe since 1994.   Jewellery, and in particular beadwork, has always been a medium of human adornment, but it has ever since been more than that. Until today, it is a means of social communication and a mirror of society. East Africa always had and still has a great bead culture, from the beginning of humankind. Before […]
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.
Binga baskets and other treasures of Zimbabwean craft - Leah Mugwagwa celebrates Zimbabwean crafts, particularly the Binga basket.