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MONTHLY FEATURE - part one
Maasi Market, Nairobi, Kenya. (Memphis Tours)
Africa's creative treasures: arts and crafts
markets sparkle as launchpads for emerging
jewellery designers #makingtheirmark
In the heart of Afrika, a vibrant and transformative movement is taking place within the realm of arts and crafts markets, as they emerge as powerful platforms for showcasing the brilliance of emerging jewellery designers and their captivating creations.
These bustling marketplaces, rooted in tradition and innovation, not only celebrate the continent's rich cultural heritage but also serve as dynamic launchpads for young talents seeking to make their mark on the global jewellery scene.
Caplaki Craft Village,
With a fusion of tradition and modernity, these markets provide a unique space for emerging designers to unveil their distinctive pieces. From intricate beadwork that draws inspiration from ancestral stories to avant-garde metalwork that redefines contemporary elegance, these designers are pushing the boundaries of creativity, often integrating sustainable practices into their artistic process.
The significance of these markets lies not only in providing a direct link between designers and consumers but also in the unparalleled exposure and marketing opportunities they offer.
Through these vibrant marketplaces, designers are able to interact with a diverse clientele, receive immediate feedback, and forge valuable connections. Moreover, the digital age has amplified their reach, allowing for increased visibility on social media platforms and e-commerce websites, transcending geographical boundaries.
As Afrika's arts and crafts markets continue to thrive, the world is witnessing the transformative potential they hold for the burgeoning careers of young jewellery designers. By promoting creativity, celebrating culture, and fostering connections, these markets are indeed shaping a sparkling future for Africa's emerging jewellery talents.
Senegalese jewelry at a market
in Dakar (c) Canal Dakar
There are many entrepreuneurs who have established reputable, standout and popular arts and crafts fairs/markets. These are but just a few. Let us know of YOURS! Email us at email@example.com
Artisanat Market - Dakar, Senegal
Bay Harbour Market - Hout Bay, Cape Town, ZA
I Heart Market – Durban, ZA
Kairouan Medina - Kairouan, Tunisia
Caplaki Crafts Village - Kigali, Rwanda
Kizimkazi Dimbani Market - Zanzibar, Tanzania
Koudougou Market - Koudougou, Burkina Faso
Lome Grand Market - Lome, Togo
Maasai Market - Nairobi, Kenya
Market on Main , Johannesburg, ZA
Markets of Cairo (Khan el Khalili) - Cairo, Egypt
Marrakech Souks - Marrakech, Morocco
Neighbourgoods Market , Johannesburg and Cape Town, ZA
Ouagadougou Artisan Market - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Root 44 Market , Stellenbosch, ZA
Rosebank Rooftop Market , Johannesburg, ZA
Saint-Louis Artisanal Market - Saint-Louis, Senegal
Shongweni Farmers' & Craft Market. Shongweni, ZA
The Watershed Market, Durban, ZA
V&A Watershed , Cape Town, ZA
Ziguinchor Crafts Market - Ziguinchor, Senegal
Remember that market names and availability can change over time and new markets might emerge. We recommend you verify the current status and ratings of markets specific to the Afrikan countries you are interested in visiting.
Jason Aarons, our Editor-in-Chief explores . . .
Leigh Avenue - exhibitor at the Handmade Contemporary Fair
Jewellery found at craft fairs on the African continent
Beaded jewellery: Beaded necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are commonly found across Africa. These beads can be made from a variety of materials such as glass, wood, bone, and various metals.
Maasai Jewelry: the Maasai tribe in East Africa is known for their distinctive and colorful beadwork. Maasai jewelry often includes intricate bead patterns in bright reds, blues, and other vibrant colors.
Tuareg silver jewellery: the Tuareg people, primarily found in north and west Africa, are known for their intricate silver jewellery designs. These pieces often feature geometric patterns and symbols that hold cultural significance.
Ethiopian Coptic crosses: Ethiopian jewellery often includes Coptic crosses made from materials like silver or brass. These crosses are characterised by their unique shape and are worn as religious symbols.
Krobo Beads: The Krobo people of Ghana create beautiful beads from recycled glass. These beads are often used to make colorful necklaces and bracelets.
Cowrie shell jewelelry: Cowrie shells have been used for centuries in Afrika as both currency and adornment. They are often incorporated into jewellery pieces like necklaces, anklets, and bracelets.
Akan gold jewellery: the Akan people in west Africa are known for their intricate gold jewellery designs. These pieces often feature symbols and motifs with cultural meanings.
Himba jewellery: the Himba people of Namibia create jewellery using materials like leather, shells, and copper. Their jewellery often reflects their unique aesthetic and cultural identity.
Tuareng leather jewellery (Pinterest)
Akan gold jewellery sets (Pinterest)
Cowrie shell jewellery (Pinterest)
Berber jewellery: Berber tribes across north Africa create jewelry using materials like silver, coral, and amber. The designs are often characterised by their detailed engravings and symbolic motifs.
Zulu Love Letters: Zulu love letters are beadwork messages traditionally used to convey emotions.
These messages are crafted using beads of different colors and patterns to form meaningful messages.
Ndebele Neck Rings: the Ndebele people of South Africa are known for their distinctive neck rings made from materials like brass. These neck rings hold cultural and aesthetic significance.
Maasai earrings: apart from their beadwork, Maasai people are also known for their large, intricate earrings that are often made from metal and adorned with colourful beads.
Wood carved jewellery: Some African artisans create jewellery using carved wooden beads or pendants, often showcasing detailed craftsmanship and traditional designs.
Tuareg leather jewellery: in addition to their silverwork, the Tuareg people also create leather jewellery, such as cuffs and bracelets, with intricate embossed designs.
Metalwork jewelelry: various African cultures are known for their metalworking skills.
You can find jewellery made from metals like copper, brass, and bronze, often featuring intricate designs.