There are a variety of masks available from the numerous tribes across Africa. These include Ashanti (or Asante) artists, who are known for their lack of limits on their artistic styles compared to other tribes’ art, and the Pende tribes of the Congo, who’s most famous mask includes the “sickness mask”, representing the struggle between illness and health, played out through the life of a strong hunter. Genuine masks can be bought online from sites such as http://www.genuineafrica.com/. Prices are from $100 up to $3000.
Reasonably priced, lively and colourful African décor gives you Africanproducts that you can enjoy interacting with, as opposed to expensive antiquities which you are scared to touch in fear of breaking or damaging them! Everything from bed-lining, to hand-carved stools and hand-made mirrors are fine examples of African decors on offer. www.swahilimodern.com is one website offering genuine, well-priced décor, to give life and warmth to every room in your home.
African beads can include everything from colourful beads made from the coral found in the Mediterranean and Red Sea’s (which were particularly popular in Nigeria due to lack of easily accessible, genuine coral), to magnificently decorated ‘Kiffa’ glass beads from early 19th century Mauritania, made from pulverised glass and dating back to 1200BC. An excellent website for genuine African beads is http://www.africadirect.com/beads, selling an enormous variety of beads from around Africa.
Gemstones used in art in Africa include a huge variety of colourful gems, including Red Jasper, Opal, Quartz and Amethyst, to name but a few. Crafts made from these gemstones include majestic gemstone butterflies, unique and originated in South and Eastern Africa, and also gemstone Aloe trees, where no two are exactly alike, being individually hand-carved, and each reflecting the styles and colours of the tribe it originated from. A great website for gemstone and gemstone crafts is http://www.africancraftsmarket.com/, who sells an excellent variety of gemstone crafts.
A contemporary form of Africanart, travel bags decorated in terrific, kaleidoscope colours are a fantastic way to show off your travels to Africa, or simply show-off some genuine Africanart from across the continent. http://www.africouleur.com/ has a colourful variety of travel bags, from backpacks hand dyed in Togo and stained in wax to make them waterproof, to personally customised colour-schemed suitcases in different tribal styles from across Africa.
For something truly unique, and for dog-lovers, http://www.thekenyancollection.com/ offers all sorts of genuine Maasai beadwork, but specialises (and started out in 2003) in making beaded dog collars. The collars are made by hand sowing beads into the leather, with a second piece of leather which is then glued and stitched to the back to give you beloved pet comfort while not compromising on its strength and durability. These are beautiful collars made by genuine Maasai in genuine Maasai patterns.
African carvings can include everything from representations of the continent’s wildlife to female forms and figures, and even Animist deities. http://shop.artsandcraftsofafrica.com/ has a fantastic collection to suit any budget and taste, with smaller carvings starting at around £75.00, to the most exquisite costing as much as £7,500! All are completely genuine and unique pieces, lovingly handcrafted: The website works closely with indigenous people who craft these and they pick the very best of their works to sell here.
Understandably these pieces can be extremely expensive: Up to $7,500 on sites such as http://www.nigerbend.com/product-category/archaeological-material/ , for a excavated bracelet found in the Niger desert with an age estimated at 600 years old. These types of pieces are indeed for the serious collector. However, the site offers more affordable yet no less spectacular archaeological wonders such as Malinese Djenne-Djeno bell pendants, priced at $250. These pieces are time-capsuled objects of the heritage and history of Africa.
African’s from around the continent are well-used to working with clay, with many traditional homes being made from it. But this has also extended to works of art, ranging from vases to various wall hangings, such as clay faces, and animals such as the African elephant. http://www.africancraftsmarket.com have a great selection and only begin to craft unique pieces once your order is placed, to unsure what you get is truly unique and genuine.