Crafts and Specialized Skills in African societies

Historically, Africa has been known for producing art and craft from the available raw materials and historical influences.

The crafts from this region are distinct and include, textile, cultural artifacts, pottery, weapons, paintings, among others.

Different work, may at times represent different tribes, clans, regions or even events such as marriage, harvests, initiation ceremonies and celebration.

Women have historically specialized in handcrafted household accessories, while men specialize in more labor-intensive projects.
Rwandese Baskets
Photo Credit: Women of Famu
Ankole Baket with "Kalo"
Ankole Baskets
Photo credit: UG Pulse



Some of the hand crafted items include mats and baskets. Often times, the same raw materials are used to make these two items.  Dried palm leaves, raffia and  reeds
The various mats and baskets were elaborately woven together using dried, dyed palm tree straw fiber.

One needs to note that these raw materials are bio-degradable and therefore kind to the environment. It is no wonder that  despite much of  being Sub-saharan Africa, being rated poorly and "isolated", on the global economy, it boasts of marine and terrestrial eco-systems that are endowed with unique tourist attractions.

A gourd with freshly churned ghee
The photo abovet shows a gourd that was specifically crafted to store ghee that had been freshly churned or for storing food.

Ebyanzi- Part of "Omugamba"
Photo Credit: Monitor UG
Omugamba is a collection of cultural pots given to an Ankole bride, at her traditional wedding day. It comprises of ebyanzi (√•milk pots), enkyeka (gourds), pots for storing ghee, herbs , a small pot for storing traditionally made moisturizer “amajuta” and a pot used to burn scented herbs in the couple’s bedroom.

Many of the traditional African instruments in the African societies, are made out of animal skin, wood, reeds, seeds and other products of nature.

Ugandan Drums, shakers and string instruments
Photos by Vivian Birchall

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