Shopping for Curios & Handicrafts, Pemba

Pemba is one of the best places in Mozambique for handicrafts and curios. Ad hoc curio markets, woodcarving cooperatives and local markets make shopping for souvenirs in Pemba both fruitful and fun. Makonde carvings, Tinga Tinga paintings, Ibo Island jewelry and decorative baskets are all to be found here. But take care, the quality varies. Woodcarving cooperatives are a great place to shop for higher quality painted sculptures and hardwood Makonde carvings. Artes Makonde (formerly CEE Bee Art Gallery) specializes in higher-end jewelry, paintings, baskets and, of course, Makonde art. And while... Read More the Mbanguia market, Mercado do Mbanguia in Portuguese, may not have much in the way of souvenirs, a trip to this local market offers families insight to daily life on the Cabo Delgado coast. Shop for fruit, spices and cloth. Take pictures of yellow, red and green. Teach the kids to bargain for baskets and more.

Pemba, Cabo Delgado - Mozambique

Makonde Carvings
Wood Carver

Wood Carver

Alfredo De Simone


The Makonde people of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania are famous for their woodcarvings. Each wood sculpture, made from a single block of mpingo or African Blackwood, holds a special meaning for the artist and generally fits into one of three styles. Trees of Life, the most common type of Makonde carving, are poles of intertwined human figures. The Binadam style depicts villagers in traditional roles. Shetani carvings of twisted animal and human figures represent the Makonde believe in spirits.


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