Best African Imports Store: Get in touch with the dark continent

Africa Fashions Gifts & Craft Center

Owner Rose Egu grew up in Nigeria and for years her husband traveled back to Africa to buy for their Berkeley shop, which is crammed full of all kinds of tribal treasures. Opened in 1988, the store carries gifts, crafts, housewares, and artwork from all over the continent. Don’t miss the giant hand-woven Nigerian grain baskets, stunning pieces that can double as storage chests for blankets, towels, or even toys. Customers love her Kenyan wood serving pieces adorned with painted bone and the hand-carved wooden giraffes, zebras, and elephants. For the multicultural home, Egu stocks hand-woven mudcloth from Mali and colorful kente cloth from Ghana. Both make excellent fabric for pillows and duvets. She also carries an outstanding array of tribal masks and statues from Cameroon, Nigeria, and Zaire. For world-music lovers, the store has an array of African instruments such as djembe drums from Mali, shekere gourds from Togo, and Senegalese calimbas.

Readers’ Pick:
Africa by the Bay
3840 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, 510-763-8000

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