T-Shirt Design Contest

We have many designs of T-shirts we would like to offer. Vote for the T-shirt, you would want us to offer at Africa Imports this summer.

Just click on the star of the design you want to vote for. Only one vote for user.

 




What does “dashiki” mean?

Dashiki is derived from the Yoruba word “yar ciki”, which means “shirt”. Though dashikis are African inspired, the symbolism attached to them is actually rooted in the United States.
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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.

These days n the United States, the dashiki is most popularly worn during February, Black History Month. However, no matter what time of year it is worn, the dashiki’s symbolism is a way of saying: “I am beautiful – black is beautiful – my heritage is beautiful.”
Click here to get yours today!
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Children love them as well!
Click here for children sizes


Click here to find out HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS selling African products!

New Arrivals for Black History Month

Stock up for the most exciting time of the year!
A copy of the February Wholesale Flier will be mailed to all of our customers, but why wait? You can see it now, just click here to see our newest clothing fashions. Be sure to stand out and look your best for all your events and occasions! wholesale-flier-2016-02-med
Click here to download or print your copy now or click here for an Easy page-turning version.

Click here to find out HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS selling African products!

12×18” African American Stick Flag

The Pan-African flag, also known as the UNIA flag, African-American flag and Black Liberation Flag,is a tri-color flag consisting of three horizontal bands of red, black and green. This flag of the African nation combines the most popular colors from all of the flags of Africa. Founded by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political leader, public speaker, publisher, and journalist, the flag has a constitution which defines red, black, and green as the Pan-African colors.
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What do the colors on the flag represent?
Red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation
Black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag and power
Green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
This African American Stick Flag‘s affordable price allows anyone to connect with the African culture.
Flag is 12″ x 18″. Stick is 24″ long. 100% Polyester.
Get yours today!

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Kitenge Choker: ASSORTED

Turn your wardrobe into an African work of art! This beautifully hand-made Kitenge Choker wrapped in kitenge, an East African fabric, is sure to make a culture statement wherever you go.
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There are many different designs on the fabric, but none can be specified. Choker measures 16″ circumference. Made in Kenya.
Get yours today!

Click here to find out HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS selling African products!

Small African Print Travel Bag- Assorted

Tradition on-the-go! Add quick African flare to your look with a Small African Print Travel Bag. Made in Gambia, these assorted African print bags are fun, convenient and perfectly priced.
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Bags measure 5.5″ x 6.5″. C-A212

Get your own travel bag today!

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African Doll – Deluxe On Stand: LARGE

Welcome her into your home with open arms!
Sweeten up your environment with a genuine African woman doll. Dressed in authentic African clothing made from actual African fabrics. Wonderful gift idea! Clothing styles will vary.15-16″ tall. Made in Senegal. M-D020
**NOTICE: These dolls contain small parts that may be a choking hazard for small children. Please take caution.

Get your African doll today!

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African Djembe Drumming History: Getting the Full Experience

Music is a universal language that appeals to everyone, regardless of their background. One of the most fun things about music from around the world is finding unique instruments from different places and cultures. Africa is a continent that is rich in musical traditions. One of the most interesting instruments to come out of West Africa is the djembe drum. The djembe is a beautiful, goblet-shaped drum that is traditionally carved from a single piece of hardwood. It is covered with an animal skin for its drumhead; and comes from western African nations such as Mail, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea and Ghana.
Hear how this djembe sounds:

There is a rich history behind the djembe drum. Most experts believe that the djembe drum originated about 400 to 800 years ago during the Malian Empire. They believe that it was created by Mandé people. The Malian Empire spanned a large swath of territory in what are today the countries of Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, northern Burkina Faso, western Niger, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and northern Ghana. The area of the Mali Empire was referred to as Mande by its inhabitants. They were called the Mandinka (from Manden’Ka; which means people of Mande). They formed a federation of Mandinka tribe called the Manden Kurufa. That federation grew into an empire that ruled millions of people from every tribe in West Africa.

The MandĂ© people developed the djembe drum with some specific purposes in mind. As in many cultures, music is used to signal a call gather together for prayer or a group meeting. It is also used to keep rhythm and pass the time during work. In fact, some believe that the name of the djembe drum came from the Bamana in Mali. They said, “Ankey dje, anke be.” That translates as, “everyone gather together.” Djembe is a combination of “Dje”, which means to gather, and “be”, which means everyone. Thus, the name djembe reflects the drum’s purpose in gathering people together. It is often used in ceremonies.

Not only is the name of djembe drum meaningful but there is also rich mythological tradition behind the creation of the djembe. The tradition teaches that the blacksmiths who created the first djembe drums custom made them for the drummers who would use them. The blacksmiths would cut down the tree used to make the drum. That was a spiritual act and the blacksmith would make an offering to the spirits of the tree. When a lenke tree was used for the drum the blacksmith would make a sacrifice and ask for permission to cut the tree.
Watch a video of an African craftsman making a D’jembe drum here:

Tradition also holds that each djembe drum contains three spirits. There is the spirit of the tree that supplies the wood for the drum. Then there is the spirit of the animal whose skin is used for the drumhead. Finally, the maker of the drum imbues the drum with their spirit. There is also a strong belief that the djembes are imbued with the spirits of the tribal ancestors. Some of the oldest djembe drums in existence contain the names of generations of djembe masters. iStock_000004805730Small
The drummer is also an important part of the djembe drum tradition. Traditionally the djembe was played by a member of the jeli cast. The members of the jeli cast would commission a djembe drum that was custom made for them. The jeli are a cast of musicians. They are responsible for more than music. They are the keepers of the oral tradition of their people. That is historically true and the tradition continues today.

Tradition holds that the spirits of the djembe drum use the drummer as a vessel. The drummer is expressing the music of those sprits rather than owning the music. That takes years of careful study with a master to achieve. A djembe master will guide their student. They will teach their student the proper placement of their hands, fingers, arms and spine. They will guide their student’s thoughts and their spirits. The masters take their responsible to pass on both proper technique and the traditions of djembe drums very seriously. In time that passion allows their students to become masters as well!
Learn how to play a D’jembe drum from a master instructor here:

When you purchase a djembe drum you are becoming part of that tradition. Passing on the message of that tradition becomes part of the training. Where your drum comes from is important as well. Today many djembe drums are built in Ghana, Bali, and Thailand. These countries have greater industrialization and are able to produce greater numbers of drums but they are not part of the tradition. You should look for drums that come from the countries where the djembe originates and the trees that the drums have been traditionally made from grow: Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. Djembe drums made in those countries will enable you have a drum with an authentic sound and spirit. We will be happy to help you find the right djembe drum for you as you embark on the traditional journey of a drummer!
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Download the New Retail catalog

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The new African Clothing & Artwork retail catalog is currently being printed. However, you can download the pdf to give to your customers.

It’s just in time for the Spring. It is filled with beautiful dresses, kaftans, and dashikis that your customers crave. Moreover it has great new jewelry and artwork and a collection of musical instruments.

Order some and give to your customers with your business card attached for faster sales. Hand them out at festivals or fairs. Give to friends and family.

Have you tried other ways to get more customers? Share you success stories with us!

To download the catalog, go to our main catalogs page here.

Spring Wholesale Catalog Available

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Gear up for Black History Month!

Our NEW Wholesale Catalog is here and is being mailed out to our wholesale customers.

You will love this catalog! We have so much more products to sell in this 144 page catalog of totally new fashions, jewelry, artwork, and so much more! Stock up for the busiest time of the year for African products during Black History Month.

There is more than just new items, many of our existing items have been marked down in price to give you more of a great thing.

But you don’t need to wait! You can get a digital copy right now on your computer! Here’s how:

To view the catalog in a page-turning PDF viewer, click HERE.
To just download a copy of the catalog, click HERE.
To start shopping all the latest arrivals, click HERE!