Zambian curios are a display of the skill and workmanship that goes into the making of arts and crafts by Zambian craftsmen from all corners of the country. Zambian handicrafts includes pottery, metalworking, sleeping mats (reed mats), basketry, jewellery, African printed fabrics and African batiks (also known as chitenge).
Materials used in crafting Zambian Curios include hard wood, semi-precious stones, gold, ornamental malachite, copper, fibre, animal skin, paints and reed mats.
Art and craft items are sold at specialised areas like the Kabwata cultural village and at shops like the Zintu handicrafts both in Lusaka.
Located on Burma Road, Kabwata Cultural Village has on offer art crafts and curios made right at the village itself. And a lot of other street artists and artisans display their wares along major roads of the country. Road side stalls are popular and they offer the best bargains for Zambian curios. The following are but some of the places where you can get your souvenirs and mementos.
If you are looking for a souvenir, one place within the limits of Lusaka city is the Kabwata Cultural village in the working class residential area of Lusaka. Established in 1974, the Kabwata cultural village is home to woodcarvers, basket weavers and artists who sell their products right at the cultural village. It is popular with foreign tourists and Zambians alike.
The cultural village is a congregation of woodcarvers and craftsmen from all the ten provinces of Zambia who have made Kabwata Cultural Village their home.
Kabwata Cultural Village is open daily from 08:00hrs to 18:00hrs. It is found in Kabwata Estates in Lusaka along Burma Road. It is one place you will buy your souvenir from the craftsman himself, with plenty of room to negotiate!
Try out the Pakati Sunday market which is organised by the Arcades Shopping Centre right at the shopping centre itself. The market is a congregation of the locals within Lusaka and from neighbouring areas who gather to sell their wares which include carvings, fabrics, art works and jewellery. The Arcades Shopping Centre is along the Great East road.
The Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre is the headquarters of the Zambia National Visual Arts Council (ZNVAC). The centre, which officially opened in 1991, is said to be the largest gallery in Lusaka. It has a collection of authentic and contemporary art works by Zambians. On average, the centre has a minimum of 10 exhibitions a year. The Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre is located on lion lane within the show grounds. It’s open from 08:00hrs to 17:00hrs during weekdays and from 10:00hrs to 16:30hrs on weekends.
Established in 1973 at Kitwe’s Chisokone market is the Kitwe curio market which is managed by Kitwe Curio Traders Association. Products include items such as woven bags, ash trays, traditional stools, miniature Elephants, Rhinos, and Zebras carved out of hard wood.
Mukuni Park Curio Market is located in the centre of Livingstone town. In existence since 1905, Mukuni Park is the oldest garden park in Zambia. Crafts on offer are indigenous artefacts, carvings of human figurines, animals, leather goods, bead works, drums, spears and walking sticks. The market offers the best price and the best quality for your gifts from Zambia. It is open daily from 06:00hrs to 20:00hrs.
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