Why shouldn’t a bowl hold traditions in its curves? As part of our new Accompany Us to Target collection, we’re spotlighting artisans — and their craft — from three countries, including the hand carving and painting techniques that bring the colors of Kenya to your table.
The beauty in these pieces goes beyond the locally sourced teak and olive wood they’re carved from and the pops of colors that are distinctively Kenyan. Across the entire continent of Africa from crafting communities in Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and beyond, the internet’s reach has created an opportunity for a global marketplace like never before. Building on an increasingly solid infrastructure, these opportunities to share Africa’s beautiful craft drive and create a wealth of socioeconomic growth in an area historically affected by poverty and political instability. The difference a living wage and stable source of income makes in these communities, much like the traditions that help to craft them, can ripple through generations.
And the art expands well beyond your well-dressed table to statement pieces like the Kia Link Earrings which are just as at home in your ears as they would be in your own personal museum. Plus, they’re created with materials that might otherwise get wasted, taking the up in upcycle to a whole new level. Bling not your thing? This Fanned Out Tall Vase is still museum worthy, and for good reason — Swazi baskets like this one are the most labor intensive of all African baskets, with each piece taking between 30 and 80 hours to make. It’s all the put in that makes it so timeless.
Each of these treasures takes you on your own journey through Africa not only in the way they’re crafted, but through the materials they use, like the not-actually-Porcupine Earrings that are brightly made from dip dyed bone fragments. Or the sleek soapstone chunks that eventually are carved, polished and perfected into Mudcloth Bowls that make a statement in any room. Using these local, upcycled and natural materials also makes for a more sustainable process from source to spectacular final piece. Which means you’re doing good for the world in more ways than one — helping our literal planet, and also helping to support those who are on it with you, giving more people (many of whom are women) the opportunity for a fair wage doing something they love.
Don’t we all deserve that? Shop the full 45 product collection, including our pieces from Kenya, online at target.com and in person at 12 locations in key markets and wear tradition proudly, the way it was meant to be. Plus, find even more expertly crafted pieces from our different community partners across Africa (and the globe) on accompanyus.com.