Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Wrapped In Style: Bark-Cloth

The Bark-Cloth is a versatile material common in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The Bark-Cloth comes primarily from trees of the Moracae family.
In Uganda, Bark-cloth making is performed by the Baganda people in the Buganda Kingdom in south Uganda. Bark-Cloth production in Uganda began over 600 years ago. The craftsmen headed by a 'Kaboggoza' (the hereditary Chief crafts man) make Bark-Cloth for the royal family and the rest of the community.

  The Bark-Cloth production process begins with the extraction of the inner bark of the Mutuba tree (ficus natalensis) is harvested during the rainy season and then beaten with wooden mallets to give it a soft feel and a fine terracotta colour.

The Bark-Cloth is worn by both men and women with a sash around their waist. the cloth is mainly worn at coronations, healing ceremonies, funerals and other cultural gatherings. The cloth is also used in making curtains, mosquito screens, beddings, storage sacks, pillow cases, lamp covers etc...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Discover Africa: Seychelles- The Republic Of Seychelles!

The republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian ocean. The 115 Island country whose capital is Victoria lies 1,500 km east of mainland southeast Africa. Nearby Island countries and territories include; Comoros, Mayote, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius to the south.
Seychelles has a population of 90,024 which is the smallest population of independent African states.
The climate is equable although quite humid as the islands are small. The temperature varies a little throughout the year between 24 C to 31 C.

The Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Unwed mothers are the societal norm and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important for their earning ability but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.

Traditional attaires

The staple foods of the Seychelles include fish, sea food and shell fish dishes accompanied with rice. Fishes are either steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked. Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine.

The Seychelles islands are blessed with a year long warm, tropical climate, its always a good time to visit. Although different times of the year may be better suited to the tourist's particular interests.
The 'SUBIOS underwater festival' show-cases Seychelles extraordinary underwater world through a series of film shows, talks and competitions while the 'Festival Kreol' (a week-long celebration of creol heritage and tradition) is held in october each year.
The 'Seychelles sailing cup' an international sailing event is held in January and the 'international fishing competition' is held in November. Further local fishing competitions are held throughout the year.

  • Bird watching- April (breeding season), May-September (nesting sooty terns), October (migration)
  • Diving- March-May/ September-November
  • Fishing- October-April
  • Hiking/walks & trails- May-September
  • Sailing- all year round
  • Snorkeling- all year round
  • Surfing/ wind surfing- May-September

Tourist Attractions

  • The 'Vallee de Mai- UNESCO world heritage site : Seychelles’ second UNESCO World Heritage Site is the legendary Vallée de Mai, administered by the Seychelles Islands Foundation. So remarkable that it was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, this hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is home to some 6000 Coco-de-mer trees, considered to be among the botanical wonders of the world.

    The Vallée boasts six endemic palm species as well as many other indigenous trees and is also the last habitat of the endangered Black Parrot.
  • Port Launay / Baie Ternay Marine National Park:  Port Launay Marine National Park is famous for its whale shark sightings. In their season, these huge gentle giants of the sea can be seen swimming lazily around feeding on the rich plankton that accumulates in the park. The reefs on both sides of the bay provide a wonderful opportunity to use your mask and snorkel, while the beautiful sandy beach is quiet and inviting to both sun worshipers wanting to work on their tan or those who simply want to relax and read a book under the large shady Takamaka trees. This park can be reached by land or sea providing great comfort after a morning of trawling in blue waters or hiking off the nearby Greater Morne Seychellois National Park.
  • Nigel Henri Acrylic Paintings:  Local artist Nigel Henri produces original acrylic paintings on canvas which depict cultural life in Seychelles as well as underwater scenes. The artist’s studio will gladly courier purchased works all over the world via DHL.

    Nigel's works are displayed at his studio in Beau Vallon, as well as