Africa is a great continent for cultural and wildlife tourism. The amount of diversity in Africa is amazing. Each country has a different set of customs, cuisines and local practices.
A cultural tourist may have a great time exploring the local markets in Africa. We focus on the top cultural gifts that can be taken home from Africa. A souvenir is also an ideal cultural gift if it appropriately symbolizes the country and its culture.
Following are the 6 Perfect Cultural Gifts to Take Home from Africa.
a) Wood Carvings – Wood carvings are amazing in Africa. Africa is home to some of the best varieties of wood and wood carvings from Africa represent both culture and quality. Best places to buy wood carvings are countries like Tanzania and Kenya. The most common carvings are in Ebony. Life size carvings are also available. However, it is up to the tourist to decide on the size. In Kenya, the best place to buy carvings is the Akamba Handicraft in Mombasa.(Image by sanjitbakshi)
b) Masks from Africa : – Masks are common gifts which are taken home from Africa. Different types of masks are available in many countries in Africa. Masks are perfect for home decor and are quite attractive. Some people prefer traditional masks which have a high local appeal. Some may find it inappropriate to place masks symbolizing devil or destruction. Hence a tourist is recommended to choose the mask he wishes to take home. Ceremonial masks are also available. Masks are available in most African countries.
c) Ankara from Nigeria– Ankara is a long cloth and embroidered with exquisite designs. These are an ideal gift to women. Generally these are worn as scarves in Africa. They are usually in bright colors and attractive designs. Some people also prefer wearing Ankara as a full body cloth.
d) Crafts from Malawi– If you happen to visit Malawi, there are many places to buy crafts which are exquisite. Wood carvings, masks, miniature hand carved furniture etc are well known attractions. The Nkhata Bay, Zomba Plateau and Senga Bay are three of the very well known craft centers in Malawi. Straw hats and jewelry are other attractions in Craft markets in Malawi.
e) Masai Souvenirs from East Africa– Masai people are the nomadic cattle-herding natives of Kenya and Tanzania. Moshi and Arusha are two main markets which sell Masai handicrafts. Variety of gifts can be taken from these places. Masai Blankets are quite commonly taken home. Other gifts include beaded jewelry, traditional weapons such as spears and baskets.(Image by Ashley)
f) African Paintings– African paintings are a good gift for people with interest in art. These can be expensive as well as reasonable depending on the design and artist. Older paintings which have much more heritage value are more expensive. Most of the older paintings are painted using natural colors. Many countries are well known for paintings. Africa offers diverse types of cultural gifts. It is recommended to bargain and consult locals for the best places to shop in Africa.
Most places offer an option to ship the product to your home address. Try to shop in cooperative societies to obtain higher quality products for better prices
Related post : 10 Things to Consider When Visiting Africa
Feature image by Tina-Arena