Which African Look Fits YOUR Personality?

Black History Month Feature (1)

So you want to celebrate your African heritage this month but you’re not sure which outfit to pick? There are so many styles to choose from and so many things to consider. Let’s find something that fits you.

Are you….

A Powerful Career Woman?

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This George Pant Suit gives you the elegance and sophistication you crave while giving you a big dose of African brilliance! Shimmering gold embroidery makes this look completely unforgettable. Click Here to see it or get your own!

Always On Top of the Trends?

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Traditional Prints like these are the most popular trend in African-inspired fashion right now! Choose from a variety of bold colors and enjoy the breezy, free-flowing, feminine elegance. Click Here to choose your own!

Sexy and Sultry?

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Show some skin in a tasteful yet alluring way with this crop-top African skirt set! Click Here to get your own!

An Understated Beauty?

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Do you prefer styles that are elegant yet subtle? Wrap up in a hand-crafted mudcloth skirt for a look that is undeniably African yet easy to pair with everyday casual tops. Click Here to choose your own!

Adventurous and daring?

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Show your exotic side with one of these leopard print kaftans. This is a bold look for a daring modern woman! Click Here to choose your own!

Royal and Regal?

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This george fabric dress and jacket set is fit for a queen with gold embroidery and a crown to match! Click Here to see it or choose one for yourself!

Artistic and Creative?

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This African peacock kaftan is lush and vibrant, taking your mind to exotic locales and unforgettable landscapes. Click Here to choose your own!

Ready for Church on Sunday?

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This hand-tailored Nigerian skirt set is tasteful, feminine, and elegant. It’s the perfect way to celebrate on the last Sunday of February! Click Here to get your own.

A Multi-Tasking Mama!

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We get it! If you’ve got kids everywhere you don’t have time for complicated wardrobes.

This bright, eye-catching Kente dashiki gives you a glamorous, fun look that pairs with jeans, yoga pants, or leggings for those busy days! Click Here to get your own.

What Is Your Favorite Look?

Share your African-inspired Black History Month looks in the comments!

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Your Guide to the Top 12 Black History Month Fashions

Black History Month Feature

Black History  Month is now in full-swing, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably looking for the perfect garment to celebrate your heritage! That’s why we put on our research glasses to find out which garments are the most popular this February. If you want to enjoy the colorful, vibrant style of Africa while reflecting your pride and heritage, this post is for you. So without further ado, here are the fashions!

#1 – Traditional Dashiki

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Nothing gets you into the spirit of Black History faster than a traditional dashiki! In the 1960s, a time where African American cultural and political struggles were at an all time high, dashikis became popular among men and women who wanted to show their independence from Western culture. At a time when the acceptable fashion was conservative, neatly tucked shirts, the bright, bold colorful shirts, worn un-tucked, were a way for people to show pride in their African heritage. Order this dashiki here

#2 – Traditional Print Luxury Skirt Set

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These traditional print skirt sets come in a variety of vibrant colors that are sure to capture attention no matter where you go. You can find out the unique history of traditional print styles here. To order this dress for yourself, click here.

#3 – Traditional Print Maxi Skirt

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These vibrant maxi skirts are an easy way to celebrate your unique style this February. You can easily pair these with a black tank top or tee to have a statement-making look. Find the meaning of traditional print fabric here! To order this skirt for yourself, click here.

#4 – Children’s Traditional Dashiki

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Who says kid’s can’t be a part of Black History Month? Let the little ones enjoy the festivities and show off their African pride with these bright, colorful, comfortable dashikis. This is a great opportunity to share with your kids the history of the dashiki and let them learn more about their African-American heritage here. To order one of these dashikis, click here.

#5 – Men’s Luxury Pant Set

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Gold embroidery, intricate craftsmanship, and vibrant colors make these luxury pant suits a must-have for any man this February! Each comes with a matching kufi hat. Want to know the history of the kufi cap? Check it out here! To order this garment for yourself, click here.

#6 – Kente Dashiki

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Enjoy the symbolism and lush beauty of African style with these kente dashikis. Each color of kente cloth has a unique symbolism and meaning in Africa. Find out what each color means here. To order this dashiki for yourself, click here.

#7 – Kente Umbrella Dress and Head Wrap

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Elegance is yours when you slip into this gold-embroidered free-flowing kente dress. Flattering on any body type and with a comfortable feminine flair that will make you feel like a true African queen. To enjoy this dress’s symbolism and meaning, check out this infographic on the meaning of kente cloth here. To order this dress yourself, click here.

#8 – Million Stone Lace Floral Skirt Set

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Get ready to shimmer and shine in this intricately embroidered skirt set with a matching headwrap. Choose from black, gold, blue, or red! To order this skirt set for yourself, click hereclick here.

#9 – Grand Bubu Mudcloth Robe

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You can’t get more authentic than with this grand bubu from Mali, West Africa. Each of these bubus is completely hand-dyed, sewn, and painted using an age-old process. Find out more about how mudcloth is made and what it symbolizes here. To order this bubu yourself, click here.

#10 – Heart of Africa Dashiki

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The Heart of Africa Dashiki features a traditional print in an eye-catching heart design. This dashiki is soft and roomy and helps you to declare your love of African history and the civil rights movement. Find out more about the importance of the dashiki here. To order this dashiki yourself, click here.

#11  – Mud Cloth Dashiki

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This dashiki is completely hand-crafted out of hand-dyed, woven, and designed mucloth fabric. Each dashiki is created in Mali, West Africa, in the tradition that has been passed down for centuries of time. Each symbol has a meaning and often the colors as well. Find out more about the meaning and symbolism of mudcloth here.  To order this dashiki for yourself, click here.

#12 – Embroidered Grand Boubou

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This completely elegant boubou is hand-crafted from genuine hand-woven brocade fabric. It features dazzling gold embroidery and comes complete with a matching kufi cap. You can’t find elegance like this made by a machine! Each boubou is hand-made in Ghana or Gambia. Choose from a variety of available colors here. To order this boubou for yourself, click here.

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How to clean Batik cloth paintings and oil paintings

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The really correct way to clean these is with what is called a “dry sponge” or “dry cleaning sponge” you can get these from cleaning supply companies. They are also not difficult to find online (you can search under dry cleaning sponge). These are not regular sponges, but chemically treated sponges that are used for cleaning oil paintings among other things.

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A simple home remedy for this is to use white bread (like wonder bread from the grocery store). You can scrunch this up like a sponge, and blot the batik painting or oil painting clean this way. Even though this felt a little weird to do, I have done this myself with an oil painting and it worked great.

Click here to view our line of Batik Paintings.

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The Incredible History of the Ashanti Fertility Doll

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Africa is a continent full of legends, mysteries, and symbolic meanings. The Ashanti doll from from Ghana is one of many unique and prevailing symbols. This doll represents fertility and good luck and is even used by young girls as a way to prepare for motherhood.

The Legend  of the Ashanti Doll

Legend has it that the bearer of an ‘Akuaba’ fertility doll will give birth to a beautiful child that is 24 inches long. Traditionally a woman would wear the doll on her back hoping to conceive a child or in hopes that her current child would be born healthy. In some villages, a priest will give the doll to a young woman after conducting specific fertility rites. More often, the mother who has used the fertility doll will hand it down to her daughter. In preparation for motherhood they will wash the dolls, carry them on their backs, put them to bed, dress, and even “feed” them.

The Symbolism of the Ashanti Features

The round head of the Ashanti doll is symbolic of the feminine womb. It also is considered by some to be symbolic of a moon goddess. A high forehead is a symbol of beauty, the neck ring depicts creases caused by fat, which is an indication of health. The body of the fertility doll is shaped like a cross and is similar to the Kamitic symbol known as the Djed, which according to Egyptian legend is the backbone of the God Ausar. In ancient spiritual teachings, Ausar possesses great power because his emotions and thoughts are stable and unwavering.

A Lasting Tradition

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An Akan/Ashanti Woman

For many ages fertility dolls have stood the test of time. While in Western culture these dolls have come to represent good luck and a hand-craft piece of African artwork, in Africa these dolls have a very important place dating back many centuries.

Where To Get Your Own Ashanti Doll

You can own your own hand-crafted Kenyan Ashanti dolls by clicking here.

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Is heating or melting shea butter bad?

The more that any natural product is heated, the more of it’s effectiveness it can lose. Melting one of these products can make it much easier to use and store though. It can also sometimes improve the appearance; and give you more convenience to use heat in the packaging process. So what should you do?

This is a decision that you need to make for yourself. There is no answer that is right for everyone. But here’s what to consider when you need to figure it out.

Lightly heating natural products will take away some of their effectiveness…but not very much. As the temperature is increased though, you lose dramatically more potency from your products. Increasing the temperature by an extra 10 degrees can cause you to loose twice as much potency. Leaving the shea butter or other natural product hearted for any longer than necessary also causes it to lose significantly more of it’s strength.

You do not need to heat your shea butter at all. Africa Imports sells raw shea butter that has never been heated. You can order the unheated shea butter in one lb bags or in 25 lb. or 55 lb. boxes. Creamy shea butter and whipped shea butter are also produced with no heating and give your shea butter a much more workable texture.

For shea butter or other products that have been heated, Africa Imports uses the minimum heat necessary to package them, and no more than this. Shea butter is one of the most powerful skin healers in the world. This very modest heating does not change this at all. It is still amazingly potent. You will almost never notice any significant difference at all in the strength of the raw shea butter from Africa Imports no matter how it is packaged.

This article is free. You can publish or circulate this article on other websites as long as you give credit to Africa Imports; and include a link back to africaimports.com at the end of the article.

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10 Surprising Ways Geranium Essential Oil Can Benefit You

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Geranium essential oil has a history of promoting healing and beauty. In Ancient Egypt it was used to promote beautiful and radiant skin and since then studies have found numerous other health benefits. Geranium is one of the safest oils for beginners to start out with. It is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. It can easily be used in numerous ways to improve not only your health but your emotions and the clarity of your skin. So let’s take a look at the ways geranium essential oil can help you! Read more

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Can Essential Oils Really Heal Sore Muscles?

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When I first heard that essential oils could soothe sore muscles I laughed to myself. I thought, “Are these companies serious? How is an oil going to get deep down into my muscles and fix anything at all!?”. Then I went to school for massage therapy and they mentioned using essentials oils there. I couldn’t believe so many people bought into this! Then my teacher talked to me about essential oils and really explained how they work and why they can soothe muscle aches and pains.

Certain essential oils work as muscle relaxants and natural pain killers. Oils like peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, and basil. These same oils can also improve circulation, thereby relieving muscle spasms and backaches.

But how do the essential oils penetrate the skin?

Essential oil molecules are so small that when you massage the oil into your skin it is able to pass through the outer layer of the epidermis, then the dermis, into the capillaries and bloodstream. This is one of the reasons that you want to be careful what you apply to your skin! Chemical ingredients and dyes found in many skin care products can also pass into your blood stream, and many of those have carcinogenic properties. Thankfully, essential oils and more natural products are on the market today so you don’t have to buy drugstore brands that may harm your health.

How do I use essential oils to relieve muscle aches?

There are several ways to do this. Firstly, and the easiest method, is to get a blended cream specifically designed for muscle aches and pains. We have one here. You can simply massage this lotion into your skin and enjoy the benefits that way. Another option is to get a pain-relief essential oil like peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, lavender, chamomile, or sweet marjoram. Blend a few drops of the essential oils with a carrier oil like olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil and massage it into your skin. The last method is to put a few drops of essential oils into a hot bath with 2-3 cups of epsom salts. This can be incredibly soothing and relaxing.

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Dare to Detoxify in 2017 with Herbal Bitters

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Feeling sluggish and bloated after all the holiday gatherings, meals, parties, and calorie-filled treats? Get the New Year started right by giving your body a deep-cleaning, toxin-destroying treatment!

Why Choose Bitters?

Over the years, toxins build up in our bodies as a result of our exposure to excess pollutants and poisons in the air we breathe,  the water we drink, and the food we eat. Our bodies are designed to eliminate toxins under normal conditions, but in today’s society, toxins build up in our system faster than our bodies can get rid of them. Toxins can come from pollution, pesticides in foods, or so many other sources. For many people, this ability to “self-purify” is extremely difficult and time-consuming. Internal cleansing or detoxification helps remove these toxins from our bodies in a gentle, safe and natural manner

What Do Herbal Bitters do?

Herbal bitters are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that can benefit you in so many ways, but here are just a few:

– Cleanses your digestive system
– Eliminates toxic build-up in the intestines and stomach
– Improves immune system health
– Reduces high blood pressure
– Reduces swelling
– Improves circulation
– Reduces inflammation
– Relieves constipation
– Reduces fluid retention
– Increases sex drive

What’s In Herbal Bitters?

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The ingredients vary depending on which herbal blend you choose, but they rely on all-natural ingredients like black seeds, tropical honey, and more that are packed with vitamins and minerals. Here are just a few of the herbal bitter options available:

Herboganic Black Seed Bitters

Herboganic Moringa Bitters

Kormantee Corkscrew Bitters

What Do You Think? Have you tried herbal bitters before and feel like sharing your experience! We’d love to hear from you!

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Send Headaches Packing with a new Essential Oil Blend

 

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Do you suffer from pounding headaches or migraines? While tylenol and other pain relievers can help, they can also be less than ideal for your body. Long-term use of pain killers is associated with kidney disease and bleeding in the digestive tract along with an increase in heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Essential oils can provide a safe, natural and therapeutic way to find headache relief without causing your body any undue harm. This headache away blend is composed of lavender and spearmint essential oils. Lavender helps to regulate serotonin levels, which helps to minimize pain in the nervous system that can lead to a headache or migraine. Research backs up this fact, too. In a control group study for European Neurology, experts found that lavender essential oil effectively diminished the headaches and migraines of a control group of 192 people.

Spearmint is also a stand-out headache fighter, with high levels of menthol content that work to alleviate fatigue, headaches, migraines, and even digestive problems.

How Do I Use Headache-Away?

Simply take 2-3 drops of the essential oil blend and massage it into your wrists, shoulders, forehead, and the back of your neck.  You can also diffuse the oil in your home, or add 10 drops to a warm-water bath.

Where Can I Get Headache Away?

This essential oil blend is now available on our web site here.  We hope you enjoy it!

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