The Black Art Depot

Kenyan Kisii Stone Carver

This is the first part in our series on diversifying your Christmas decor for the upcoming holiday season. Today, we will focus on how to add handmade designs from Kenya to your office or home to create a multicultural environment for your family and friends. 

The Black Art Depot was originally started to make it easier to access Christmas decor that was inspired by the African American cultural experience and designed for those of African descent. We were tired of the same holiday decorations that only featured designs that targeted and were inspired by Caucasians. I truly believe that we have made some progress in accomplishing this objective. Now, we want to take it a step further by assisting our valued customers incorporate elements from Africa into their holiday experience.

Below you will find three designs we think would serve as a great starting point for those that appreciate hand made African decor and we feel they would truly give your visitors something new to view this upcoming holiday season and serve as great discussion pieces. All of the these items are hand made out of Kisii stone. Kisii stone is commonly referred to as "soapstone" and is mined in southwestern Kenya in and around the village of Tabaka. The word Kisii is the name of the language spoken by the natural inhabitants of the region, the Gussi ethnic group. Kisii stone is mined using shovels, crowbars, wedges, or hammers and then carved with machetes, saws, or knives. After the carving phase is completed, the artisan sands and dyes the stone before carving additional patterns or painting. The final phase is polishing and this is typically completed with floor or shoe polish and shredded sisal rope.

Hand Made Kenyan Nested Nativity Piece

Nested Nativity

A nativity piece that was hand made by a local artisan in Kenya. This nested nativity piece was carved out of Kisii stone or what is commonly referred to as Soapstone. It measures approximated 6.5 inches in height and weighs approximately 19 ounces. All of our imported African goods are Fair Trade Certified.

Hand Made Kenyan Small Arched Nativity Piece

Small Arched Nativity

A black arched nativity sculpture that depicts Joseph and Mary as the tend to the infant Messiah Jesus as the Star of Bethlehem shines brightly overhead in the night sky. This nativity sculpture was carved out of Kisii stone or what is commonly referred to as soapstone by a local Kenyan artisan. All of our imported African goods are Fair Trade Certified.

Hand Made Kenyan Natural Stone Cut Nativity

Natural Stone Cut Nativity

A beautiful and romantic abstract stone nativity piece that depicts Mary and Joseph attentively watching the infant Messiah Jesus. This nativity sculpture was carved out of Kisii stone or what is commonly referred to as soapstone. All of our imported African goods are Fair Trade Certified.

Let us know what you think about these pieces and click the images to enter the product page to learn more about that specific item.

Written by Kani Ayubu — November 23, 2014

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Kani Ayubu