Worldstock Handmade Soapstone Hippo with Bead Keychain (Kenya)
ITEM#: 14204075Adorable soapstone hippo keychain with one glass bead and one bone bead. This beautiful piece is handmade by artisans in Kenya.
- Brand: Swahili Imports
- Size: 4 inches long x 2 inches wide
- Materials: Soapstone, glass, metal and bone
- Diameter of the Ring: 1-inch
- Quantity: 1
- Weight: .5 pounds
- Color: Assorted
Story Behind the Art:
Kenya's western highlands contain vast deposits of the metamorphic stone called steatite. Known widely as soapstone, this talc-like stone has a smooth, almost soapy-feeling texture that carves easily. Soapstone is found in various locales around the world, but since the Kenyan variety is mined mainly from the Tabaka Hills in the Kisii District, it is known specifically as Kisii stone. The Abagusii, or Gusii, are the predominant residents of the Kisii District, which is one of Kenya's most populated regions. The highlands are fertile, and many Gusii are employed in the agricultural sector, growing tea, coffee and sweet bananas. The Gusii are recognized widely for their skill at carving soapstone, and several families in the region earn supplemental income from the sale of their stone art. Mining the stone is the most arduous part of the process. The finer carving is accomplished with a small knife called a kisu, and then the carvings are washed down in a slurry of sand and water to fully smooth the surfaces in preparation for dyeing.
The handcrafted touch of artisan skill creates variations in color, size and design. If buying two of the same item, slight differences should be expected. Note: Color discrepancies may occur between this product and your computer screen.
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