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Mt Kenya|Longonot|Mt Elgon|Loroghi Hills|Western Highlands|Shimba Hills|Taita and Chyulu Hills

Shopping

The Kisii people of Western Kenya are gifted stone carvers. They have a long tradition of carving ornate decorative art and jewellrey, together with functional items such as plates and bowls.

The stone is found in a series of large open quarries throughout the Gucha area, which have also proved equally rich in uncovered fossil evidence and prehistoric artifacts. Cooperative workshops have been formed to produce work for the international market. Kisii stone is sold worldwide, and several works by Tabaka artists have found a place in major international art collections. Tabaka soapstone graces the UN HQ in New York, and the UNESCO HQ in Paris, in the form of a massive 7- tonne “bird of peace” or Enyamuchera.

The success of this industry shows in the town of Tabaka, where every household seems to be busily engaged in carving, polishing, washing and packaging stoneware. This very success has meant the preservation of a very important cultural tradition. A visit here is an excellent opportunity to experience this rich culture and to purchase some beautiful handcrafted works of art.

The most popular items are small animals, chess pieces based on traditional African designs and more functional items such as egg cups, soap dishes, coasters and ash trays.

The soapstone here varies in colour from white (the easiest to carve) through various shades of pink to a deep lustrous red (the most difficult to carve).
See general information on this region....



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