The Incredible History of the Ashanti Fertility Doll

Ashanti Fertility Doll

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

Akan Ashanti Dancer
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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New Hand-Carved Ebony Artwork Just in Time for Christmas!

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Are you looking for a stunning piece of hand-crafted artwork as a Christmas gift? We’ve just gotten a huge shipment of intricately crafted ebony art pieces anyone will love. But before we get to the items themselves, what makes ebony so special?

The Quality of Ebony

Ebony is a dense, black hardwood that has a smooth, lustrous finish. The ebony used for these carvings is from Tanzania. This wood is considered a luxury wood, and was often found in ancient Egyptian tombs because of its elegance and association with royalty. The black keys of pianos are often made from ebony wood as well. The wood is the hardest, most durable wood there is, which has made it a hot commodity for crafters of high-quality furniture and artwork.

Is This Ebony Endangered?

We care about preserving the hardwood trees in Africa that are endangered at this time. From what we can tell, Tanzanian ebony is not endangered, but ebony from Madagascar is. For this reason we are not importing any ebony from Madagascar.

The 5 New Ebony Wood-Carvings

The Ebony Drummer
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This drummer stands 8″ tall and is a great gift for any music lovers in your life! Find out more here.

Ebony Faces Plaque

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This faces plaque captures the beauty of the African people. It is 16″ tall and 5″ wide. Find out more here.

Ebony Woman and Baby

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This statue is perfect for any mother you know and captures the beauty of the maternal relationship. It stands 11″ tall. Find out more here.

Abstract Ebony People Statue

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These abstract statues are elegant and incredibly fluid in their design and luster. They stand 8-9″ tall. Find out more here.

Abstract Ebony Family Tree Carving

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Celebrate the unity of family and the intricacy of African artwork with this 11″ tall statue. Find out more here.

Do you want to see more pieces like this? Check out our ebony artwork section here.

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Discover the History of the Maasai Sword

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We’re so excited to present this African Maasai sword from Kenya. Swords like these are referred to as “Semes” by the Maasai people. They are the constant side arm of the Maasai warrior. The sword is light and short, with a double-edged, leaf-shaped spatula blade made from steel. The sheath is made from real leather dyed red. Red is an important color among the Maasai warriors, because it symbolizes blood and bravery. The color is often worn by Maasai warriors as they believe it will protect them against wild animals.

Historically, the Maasai people would give these swords as a rite of passage from boyhood to the status of junior warrior. This usually happens between the ages of 15 to 21. Upon their graduation, each warrior receives a sword like this, which they will retain throughout adulthood. The Maasai people use this blade for everything from clearing bush to butchering cattle or peeling fruit! They also us these swords for self-defense.

Each of these swords is approximately 20″ long. It can be difficult initially to pull the sword from the sheath, but over time it should become easier.

Want Your Own Maasai Sword?

We just added these to our weapon collection! You can get your own by Clicking Here.

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The History and Meaning of the Zulu Shield

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We’re thrilled and excited to add the historic Zulu shields to our collection of African weaponry this season! What makes these shields so special? They have been a part of African history for centuries and were used by Zulu tribesmen in battle. Now the shields are used for traditional ceremonies including weddings and funerals. They are also a source of income for many Zulu people. It is always exciting to find such a unique and authentic piece of African history and bring it to our customers.

Symbolically, the Zulu shield has long been believed to provide protection as well as provide medicinal or magic powers. Before battle, shields were sprinkled with herbs to give protective power to the shield and ensure the warrior came to no harm.

Zulu shields are crafted from goatskin or cowhide (the Zulu shields we carry are made from goatskin) sewn onto a wooden frame. There are five types of shields used for different occasions:

1 – Isihlangu – This is the largest shield, measuring 5 ft. tall! It is a battle shield and was used by King Shaka Zulu himself.
2 – Umbumbuluzo – This small battle shield could easily be used while running or attacking.
3 – Ihubelo – This small shield is used for courting and is dyed red.
4 – Igqoka – This is a small dancing shield that is used during traditional ceremonies.
5 – Ihawu – This is a basic warrior shield that is very hard to find these days.

White Zulu shields are normally kept by Zulu chiefs or a high-ranking Zulu warrior. Black and white or black are easier to find and are for the traditional warriors.

Where Can I Find Zulu Shields?

You can choose from a variety of Zulu shields in white, brown, or black on our web site here. You can also find them in various African festivals or Black History Month festivals occasionally.

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Discover the Unique Artistry of Soapstone

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Soapstone is a unique and beautiful metamorphic rock found in Kenya. It is mined in the Tabaka Hills, where it is known for being soft and easy to carve. It is sometimes referred to as Kisii stone.

The Abagusii people of the Kisii district in Kenya originally used soapstone to carry pots. For many Abagusii families, soapstone carvings are the primary source of income. They sell their handicrafts in malls, galleries, markets, and shops. Read more

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