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Minku Design's New Collection

Minku is a Nigerian maker of quality goods established in 2011 and specializing in leather bags for men and women. 

Three years on, Minku continues to define a fresh sub-Saharan aesthetic through its subtle use of cultural elements and artisan approach to contemporary bagmaking.

Minku founder Kunmi was on a computer science research and consultancy path when she discovered her intense enjoyment of designing and creating everyday items.

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Kuba Cloth From Congo

Kuba cloth is a hand-woven cloth made from the fib of Raphia Vinifera palm leaves. Kuba people of the Congo first hand cut, and then weave the strips of leaf to make pieces of fabric, often called raffia cloth.

There are several different sub groups of the Kuba people. Each group has different and unique ways to make the fabric. Some make it thicker, longer, shorter, or with different patches. Each patch is symbolic and many times a piece has many different meanings.

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A Typical Yoruba Wedding Attire

Bride and Groom Attire

In a typical Yoruba marriage, Aso-Oke is fabric of choice. It is the Yoruba ceremonial cloth. It is considered the pinnacle of all fabrics for Yoruba people on occasions like weddings, birthdays, celebrations of life of deceased parents, chieftaincy title ceremonies, and any other important commemorations.

This Aso-Oke is hand woven with special thread that has been soaked in home-made dye. That was before this age of new technology. The three main colours of Aso-Oke fabrics are:

  • Al’aari: rich maroon
  • Etu: navy blue
  • Sanyan: very light brown with strips of cream

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Nigeria: Home Away From Home by Brian Botts

I’m an American and I love the United States of America. I’m proud of where I was born and raised. But this post isn’t going to be about that. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many places throughout the world. I have fond memories of so many people I’ve met and so many instances I’ve been a part of.

Nigeria isn’t just a place I’ve traveled to. This has become a home away from home to me. I lived there off and on for many years and it is a Country that I not only care about, but a place where I want to see it’s potential reached. And I have committed myself to being a part of that solution in the years to come. (more…)

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Bellafricana's Nigeria Independence Day Exhibition

bellafricana 1

Bellafricana celebrated Nigeria @54 by hosting an exhibition at Labule Restaurant on the 1st of October, 2014. Despite the heavy rain fall on the day, the exhibition was a success. 

Various African products were displayed for sale; Adire table mat and coaster set, ankara apron and gloves set, kente bags, kente slippers, African men and women wears, ankara cushions and many more. Here are some pictures from the exhibition;

 
 
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Meet Layo Bright "The Artist"

 A stunning interview with Layo Bright, a young African born artist with such an elegant personality. She responded eloquently to the questions with such passion and love for art.


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Mud Cloth From Mali

Mud cloth is a traditional woven cloth from Bamana people of Mali with rich hues ranging from rich black, brown, mustard, red or green (although other colors are sometimes found), with sections of the cloth composing of individual motifs such as fish bones, little stars or hunters.

Mudcloth in Africa dates as far back as the 12th century AD. The symbols and shape arrangement on the mudcloth reveals a variety of different secrets. A person’s social status, occupation and character can all be represented in a piece of mudcloth. Each piece of mudcloth has its own unique story to tell.

In fact, in the most recent Star Wars Film, “The Clone Wars”, Anakin was wearing a Mud cloth vest while he was dressed as a refugee traveling with Padme when they were returning to Naboo. (more…)

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Afro Juju by Sir Shina Peters

If you have never heard of Sir Shina Peters, then you are definitely not Nigerian. Let me tell you a little something about him.

Oluwashina Akanbi Peters, popularly known as ‘Sir Shina Peters’ is a Nigeria Afro-juju musician. He was born in Ogun State on the 30th of May, 1958. He started his career in collaboration with General Prince Adekunle, playing the guitar, then formed his group with Segun Adewale. Sir Shina Peters later went on to form his own band called “Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars” through the 1980s after releasing various albums with Segun Adewale. Sir Shina Peters is a well-recognised symbol of music evolution in Nigeria. Popularizing one of Africa’s most important genres, he is seen as a force for great musical movements. (more…)

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National Academy Museum

After a 45-minute journey, and occasionally losing my way, I arrived at Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. First mode of action was to get my picture taken with the infamous “Solomon R. Guggenheim” as a background. Check!


Next, the moment of truth – entering the museum and soaking in the moment, the beautiful works of art, the architecture. All of it.
Halting mid-walk I glimpse a sign from the corner of my eye; “Closed on Thursday.” Just great. Deflated, it now makes sense why people were sitting outside loitering.
Sigh. What next.

I recall seeing a museum right across the street from the Guggenheim on my way there. Rather than go all the way back home, I could substitute this for the Guggenheim visit.

With the red banner of the National Academy School of Fine Arts blowing in the wind above the entrance, I wondered why I had not come across the name before. (more…)

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The Frick Collection

Timeless. Regal. Exclusive.

These were the first thoughts that came to mind, as I gazed upon the infamous Rembrandt self portrait that graced the walls of The Frick Collection. Yup! Another day, another museum to visit.

It felt surreal to be in such a place, being able to view exquisite masterpieces that had been hand-selected by Henry Clay Frick himself.

It should be stated at this point that I once had the opportunity of visiting The Frick Collection, but had prioritized my painting sessions over it. Looking back now, making the time out to visit would have done a world of good.

The Frick Collection is located at East 70th Street, New York. A sizeable expanse fenced and gated, surrounded by trees and green. Not a bad first impression at all. It is widely known to have a wonderful collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and silverware.

The inside is absolutely stunning! Luxurious carpets, delicate embellished curtains, and spectacular furniture cordoned off by ropes. Not to mention, the remarkable paintings and sculptures that grace the walls and rooms. (more…)

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