Hair: African hair styles include cornrows, bantu knots, dreadlocks, twists, braids, matutas and leaving it all out and natural results in an afro!
Beads have been traded for many thousands of years, probably even longer than the 10th century. People have always explored, gone on adventures, visited far away places out of curiosity and looking for new and exciting products to trade.
Kente cloth is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of colourful, interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana. It was exclusively worn by royalty but nowadays it is commonly seen in everyday wear.
Many symbols on Ethiopian fabric feature beautiful coptic crosses, the main symbol in Christianity.
African hair can often break if it is allowed to dry. Mineral oils can block pores and so lovely fresh natural oils moisturise and keep the scalp healthy. Fish oil is good to eat and would probably be good for your hair but the smell could lose your friends!
Bogolanfini mud cloth is dyed with a combination of mud from the river, sorghum and dye from the African birch tree. The symbols have various meanings so you can choose the one you like best.
Scottish tartan is very similar to the Maasai shuka blankets. In Scotland, each clan had it’s own unique pattern. The Maasai people favour red and blue colours most.
African jewellery is made up of thousands of different materials. Clay, bones from animals and fish, plant fibres, stones, shells and many more. Jewellery from the San people is special as they use tiny ostrich egg shells.
The gele is the Yoruba word for a headdress from West Africa. The Igbo people call it Ichafu. It has many other names and thousands of different ways to tie it. Wedding parties often display the most incredible styles and professional wrappers can charge a small fortune.
East African kanga is famous for the proverbs written along the bottom. These range from ‘God is Great’ to ‘Youth is like steam, it gone too soon’.
Glassblowing originated in Iran, then travelled through Israel, Lebanon, eventually reaching Egypt.
The djellaba is worn in very hot countries where Islam is the main religion. These countries tend to be toward the North of Africa.