Bring a Piece of Mozambique Island Home with You
As children, I think we all remember the anticipation we had when one of our parents was about to return home from a particularly long trip. I can recall anxiously staring at the door waiting for the knob to turn. Of course, I was excited to see my mom or dad and welcome them home with a giant hug, but the moment their suitcase touched the floor there was a more pressing matter at hand…PRESENTS!
“What did you bring me! What did you bring me! What did you bring me!”
It wasn’t simply that I was excited about getting a new toy. Part of my elation was the story that came with this new gift. My new souvenir had the ability to transport me to a far-off land with its own distinct culture, language and history. When traveling to Mozambique Island there is no shortage of unique gifts. Here at Rickshaws Pousada e Café we have put together a short list of souvenir ideas that will give your loved ones a taste of life on the Ilha.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but here on Mozambique Island there is literal treasure to be found. The Island is uniquely situated near a number of sunken ships most dating back hundreds of years. To this day the ancient cargo from these ships washes on shore and many of the locals have created some of the most unique pieces of jewelry you will ever see. On my first visit to the island I bought my mother a necklace featuring a piece of a china plate that dated back to the Ming dynasty. How many of us can say we have jewelry that dates back 500 to 600 years?
One of the best kept secrets on the island is the silversmiths. If you schedule a tour of the island, your guide can take you to the silversmiths’ home and you will watch in amazement as they craft beautiful bracelets, earrings and necklaces right in front of your eyes using antique machinery that can scarcely be found in our modern age. Make sure to bring your camera phone so you can record and share the experience with your loved ones.
You can’t talk about Mozambican souvenirs without talking about fashion. Africa is known for its bright and colorful clothing, and Mozambique is no exception. Walking around the island there are a plethora of vendors who sell some of the most beautiful and vibrant fabrics that can be fashioned into skirts, head scarfs, shirts, etc. One of the perks of staying at Rickshaws is that one of the local tailors will make house call. Last month one of our guests had a tailor come and take her measurements to create a unique skirt and jacket ensemble
No better souvenir gives you a clear window into another culture than artwork. Mozambique Island has no shortage of places to purchase amazing paintings and statues that reflect the everyday life of the Makua Nahara people. Whether it’s the central market or one of the shops or vendors in Stone Town, you will see depictions of Mozambican coastlines, dhow boats headed out to sea, or tofu dancers gathered around a djembe drum.
If you don’t have room in your suitcase for a painting the island is also a treasure trove for antiques. After the war for Independence most of the Portuguese were expelled from the island and were only allowed to take a few bags with them. Many of the valuable furniture pieces dating back to colonial times were left behind. Over the years these antique items such as silverware, jars, and statues have made their way to some of the local shops here on the island. There is no shortage of one-of a kind décor to gift to your friends and family.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to travel to far off lands but here at Rickshaws Pousada e Café we don’t think that should stop your loved one from getting a glimpse of the beauty and history of Mozambique Island.