/// KEnya ///
>>> The Kisii stone is found in the Nyanza
area, in western Kenya, next to the lake Victoria.
Because of its soft nature, the Kisii stone has been used for carving for a long time.
After sandpapering in water, the stone gets an incredibly silky touch. Its natural cream colour can be dyed and then be incised.
Since 1991, AS’ART has been designing its own collections, mixing a contemporary spirit with the traditional know-how.
>>> Calabash is certainly the first domesticated plant in Africa, prior
to cereals like sorgho or millet.
The tradition of calabash farming has been maintained over the centuries (for consumption and making containers). But the traditions face the danger of falling into disuse because of the change of life style and the availability of cheap plastic containers. Creating decorative objects with this material is one of the ways to protect this precious heritage.
After picking, the calabashes are dryed, emptyed, dyed and then incised with our contemporary patterns.
>>> Solid jacaranda wood with some Kisii Stone inserts.
Also available in mahogany.
Design: Jean-Paul Merlin.
>>> These 100x150cm cotton pieces are generally bought and
worn by pairs (“doti”). They are extremely popular in Eastern
Africa. The origin of the Kanga dates back to the middle of the 19th
century. It is said that rich ladies from Zanzibar had, one day, the
idea of stitching two strips each made of three scarfs together so they can obtain
a rectangular fabric. The Kanga has been named after the Guinea fowl
call, whose feathers inspired the first successful pattern: white dots on a black background.
In the fifties, a stallholder from Mombasa had the idea to add sayings on the kangas, for example: «haba na haba, hujaza kibaba”, which means “tall oaks from little acorns grow”.
Since then, the Kanga fashion neverceased and new patterns appear every year.