ARTISANS

Senegal is famous for its talented artisans who can be found in the major markets, creating and selling their wares.

Beautiful gold, silver, and bronze jewelry are exquisitely crafted. Antique beads and large amber necklaces, traditionally worn by the Fulani women, can be found in the markets and antique shops.

The Blacksmiths constitute the socio-professional group that made the tools, the jewelries, and other materials, using steel, iron, gold, and other metals. Had the Sénégalese society followed a normal path of socio-economic development, the Blacksmiths would perhaps be the metallurgical industrials of Sénégal today.

Baskets, pottery, hand-woven fabrics with incredibly intricate patterns are renowned great buys. Leather, iguana, crocodile and snake skins are used to create handbags, shoes, belts and other accessories. The Cobblers have been busy with transforming animal skins. They made shoes, harnesses and other materials from animal skins. They certainly would have been the big makers of a Sénégalese brand of Nike, Rebok, or Bata, today.

Senegal also offers a colorful array of locally printed cotton fabrics. They are used for traditional and modern clothes, and for decoration of all types of bags and carry-ons. A Senegalese tailor can make a suit in a day!

Glass painting is another Senegalese specialty. Painters depict the daily life of the population, with humor and talent, in vivid colors and a naive style. They also paint historical scenes, birds, and animals. Those wonderful inexpensive paintings are a beautiful souvenir that will brighten your walls.

Wood carving, local and from other African countries, can be found in the Soumbedioune market and in the numerous antique shops of the rue Mohamed V in Dakar.

Each region has its own traditional crafts; and, the markets in St. Louis, Tambacounda, Ziguinchor and Kaolack are full of treasures that you might not find in Dakar.


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