Central Africa is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of staggering natural beauty and unparalleled wildlife. Not so long ago, it was known far and wide as one of the best places to encounter gorillas in their natural habitat, and as a lot of travellers swear, butterflies in their hundreds of thousands.
Sadly, tourism has dwindled and is almost non-existent due to troubled history and political turmoil. Yet, despite this harsh reality, its people remain open and upbeat, and conversations are filled with hope and smiles. Their art reflects the dominance of both ancient kingdoms and modern governments and includes both ceremonial and spiritual functions. While you are advised against travelling to this region, here at Dilwana, you can enjoy these unique pieces from the heart of Africa – and support the communities to boot!
Central Africa is renowned for its diverse mix of linguistics, politics and culture, which can be clearly seen in its artistic expression. Considering the area’s tumultuous past and the slave trade, African arts and crafts did not really expand until the region’s independence in the 20th Century.
Today we bear witness to the artisans of Central Africa opening themselves to communicate with the universal language of art. Pieces have a distinct flair that is still as unique as their culture. Many of these African handmade crafts draw heavily from the influence of the ancestors – displayed in a broad range of masks, statues, fertility dolls and ritual fetish objects. Traditionally, these items were carved to communicate with the ancestors and keep them connected to the world of the living. The pieces are at once both decorative and spiritual.
Still drawing inspiration from their roots, contemporary African art and artisans from Central Africa produce hand-crafted carvings of animals or people that represent the region. You will also find elaborate headrests, fine beadwork, sceptres, staffs… even textile arts are surprisingly well developed in this, the heart of Africa.
Here, at Dilwana, you can buy handmade arts and crafts of Africa and bring a part of the untamed continent home with you. We feature African artists from Chad all the way to Angola! Every item is as striking as it is powerful.
Do you want to know the crafts of Central Africa? So click here to see some of their crafts together!