With love, from Africa

At The Strangers Club, we’ve created a captivating collection of functional art, basketry, textiles and collectables from across Africa. Merging with Out of this World has allowed us to proudly continue the Vith family’s generational legacy of sourcing and sharing African art, craft, and artifacts. These decades-long relationships with traders and craftspeople are now woven into The Strangers Club’s vision, resulting in an authentic African retail experience. 

We carefully select a range of products from different parts of Africa. Each item has its own special story tied to its place of origin. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry by discovering interesting facts about the countries that contribute to our diverse product collection.


Imagine East Africa's embrace, and there's Kenya—a lively fusion of nature's wonders and cultural treasures. The expansive savannas, a playground for untamed wildlife, represent just one facet of the varied landscape. Nairobi, the bustling capital, reflects both modernity and the preservation of traditional dances in lively markets and neighborhoods.

Amidst this diversity, we find the Maasai, a nomadic herding community dressed in striking red attire adorned with vibrant beadwork. Their traditional lifestyle, closely connected to the land, is mirrored in lively ceremonies and intriguing wooden masks. A unique feature of Kenya is the Great Rift Valley, an immense fault line traversing the landscape, with volcanoes and lakes as evidence of the earth's forces shaping the land. Along the coast, the Swahili culture influences architecture and culinary aromas.

Kenya is a country steeped in history, where each ethnic group weaves a unique thread into the complex fabric of national heritage. The inviting rhythm of Kenya's diversity resonates in the stories of its people, in their art, and in the transition between tradition and progress.


Mali, a beautiful country in West Africa, is characterized by a wealth of cultural heritage. A noteworthy aspect of daily life is the presence of wooden Dogon ladders. The ladder has a Y-shape at the top, slightly flattened to enhance stability, making it an artistic and beautiful expression. Crafted by the Dogon tribe, these artistic ladders serve as practical climbing tools for homes, bridging cliffs, and accessing the upper levels of granaries. The Dogon distinguish between "female" and "male" granaries, with ladders necessary to reach the "male" granary where men retrieve grain daily.

Another characteristic element of Mali's culture is the charming woven baskets, playing a versatile role. Beyond their practical use for carrying and transporting harvests and supplies, these baskets are often employed in traditional ceremonies. They are not only functional but also carry the identity of the tribe, adorned with specific weaving patterns reflecting local culture. These baskets serve as essential tools in daily life, acting as bearers of tradition and community connection.


Ethiopia, nestled in the Horn of Africa, is a country distinguished by its unique features, from ancient roots to vibrant traditions.

One distinctive feature of Ethiopia is its rich history, evident in the ancient city of Aksum, home to obelisks and remnants of a once-mighty empire. The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, carved from solid stone, testify to the architectural wonders of the land.

Ethiopian cuisine is globally renowned for its unique flavors and injera, a spongy sourdough bread served with various flavorful dishes. The traditional coffee ceremony, brewing aromatic coffee from freshly roasted beans, is a ritual embodying hospitality and community.

The cultural diversity of Ethiopia is reflected in numerous ethnic groups. The Omo Valley is a kaleidoscope of indigenous tribes, such as the Hamar and Mursi, known for their striking body adornments and unique customs.

Another distinctive aspect of Ethiopia is that children receive a distinctive haircut. Young children in rural areas are cut in a very typical way, with a tuft at the top of the head. This is done because Ethiopians believe that God can easily "grab" the children this way.

It's worth noting that the year in Ethiopia is a month longer. Ethiopia uses an alternative calendar, with each month having 30 days (except the last), making the year 13 months long, and New Year is celebrated somewhere in September. This is important to consider when planning activities on specific dates.


Step into the lively heart of West Africa, where Ghana shines as a jewel steeped in history and culture. Formerly known as the "Gold Coast," Ghana proudly carries its name, echoing the glory of ancient kingdoms that sparkled with their abundance of gold.

The capital, Accra, is a dynamic blend of colorful markets and infectious music; Ghanaians love to dance and enjoy delicious meals with their families. Another distinctive feature is the Kente cloth, originating from the Ashanti people in Ghana. This traditional fabric is iconic, characterized by vibrant colors and intricate geometric patterns. Each cloth narrates a story or conveys cultural symbolism. Handwoven on narrow looms, it holds significant cultural and social value, often worn on special occasions and ceremonies.

Ghana is also renowned for its beautiful glass jewelry, 'beads from Ghana.' These are colorful and enchanting glass beads meticulously crafted and transformed into stunning necklaces or bracelets. They are often made from recycled glass and are commonly worn on special occasions.

While culture radiates, nature embraces the land in various forms. Along the coastline, expansive beaches, with their gently lapping waves and palm trees, grace the horizon. The verdant hills of Aburi Gardens invite tranquil strolls amidst an abundance of plants and flowers. In essence, Ghana is a fusion of captivating culture and nature's beauty.


Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, translating to the "Land of the Honest Men," is a West African gem known for its rich cultural treasures and warm hospitality. Its capital, Ouagadougou, or "Wogodogo" in the Mòoré dialect, literally means "You are welcome here at home with us," emphasizing the country's welcoming nature.

A frontrunner in African art and culture, Burkina Faso proudly hosts one of the largest craft markets on the continent. The Mossi and Bobo tribes, deeply rooted in the nation, breathe life into their heritage through vibrant festivals and traditional music.

The artistic legacy of Burkina Faso includes enchanting masks, infused with symbols that tell profound stories of wisdom and community. These masks play a pivotal role in rituals, symbolizing robust identities and a profound connection with the past.

A distinctive feature of Burkina Faso is its remarkable cotton blankets. Going beyond mere functionality, these blankets, adorned with symbols, tell tales of deeply rooted values, reflecting the resilient identity of Burkina Faso's populace.



The people in Zimbabwe use a unique tool called the Batonga pestle, skillfully crafted by local artisans. This tool is traditionally used for grinding grains and is essential in the daily lives of the local people. Bota, a common food in Zimbabwe, is usually eaten for breakfast. It's a type of porridge made from a mix of maize meal and water.

Another interesting product from Zimbabwe is the dancing stick. In Zimbabwe, people use sticks for dancing. They are used as part of traditional dances and rituals. The dance stick can have multiple meanings; apart from enhancing the dance, it can also symbolize various aspects such as fertility, rites of passage, spiritual connection, or the history of the community. The specific meaning may vary depending on the ethnic group and the context of the dance.

The Binga Baskets also play a role in the daily-life-things. These baskets are traditionally crafted by the Batonga tribe, renowned for their craftsmanship and artistic skills. Binga baskets are made from local materials, often sourced from the natural environment. The primary material is the fibers of the Ilala palm, which abundantly grows in the region. Zimbabwe is also home to many beautiful clay pots, hand-formed by skilled artisans. These colorful pots, adorned with vibrant patterns, serve not only practical daily purposes but also find use in special ceremonies.


South Africa

As the name suggests, the country is situated at the southernmost point of Africa. It shares borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Mozambique. From the vibrant city beaches in Cape Town to the serene shores of Durban, each location in South Africa offers a unique atmosphere. Traditional music and dance, like the exhilarating Gumboot dance, mirror the lively South African spirit.

The population consists of various ethnic groups, including the Zulus. Their language, IsiZulu, is one of the eleven official languages of South Africa. The artistic heritage of the Zulus includes impressive woodcarvings, such as the famous masks used on special occasions. These masks, rich with meaning, narrate stories of spirituality and connection to nature.

A distinctive aspect of Zulu culture is the Meat Tray, often seen at festive gatherings, embodying the spirit of communal feasting and celebration. The meat tray is related to the well-known South African braais. Braais are an indispensable part of South African culture, involving wood and fire, with electric and gas barbecues set aside. Culinary-wise, bobotie is a typical South African dish, a flavorful minced meat delicacy. Moreover, South Africa is renowned for its world-class wines, like the Pinotage. This makes it a haven for indulging in a variety of delectable experiences!


Home to numerous ethnic groups, Congo's cultural identity reflects a rich variety. Among these groups, the Kuba people are known for their unique traditions, particularly in the striking patterns of their Kuba cloth. This fabric, adorned with stylish designs, serves as a living canvas telling stories of origin and togetherness.

In this cultural mix, we uncover fascinating facts about different groups in Congo. Consider the Mangbetu, with their extraordinary musical talents and elegant dances, adding a lively dynamic to the country's cultural mix.

Delving deeper into Congo's cultural landscape, Lukwakongo masks emerge as powerful symbols during traditional gatherings. Whether worn or immortalized as statues, these masks tell the tales of the Congolese people from the past and celebrate the vibrancy of today. Interestingly, these masks also serve as a kind of "passport," proudly worn on the arm to display individual identity.

To enhance the allure, Lukwakongo masks come in both male and female versions. While men's masks exude strength and wisdom, women's masks radiate grace and the enchantment of new life. Together, they tell a story of life, emotions, and harmony in coexistence


Gabon, situated on the west coast of Central Africa, is a land of tropical beauty and cultural diversity, with lush rainforests and diverse flora and fauna shaping its vibrant tapestry. The Fang, Kota, and Punu tribes contribute unique threads to this cultural fabric, with the Fang known for lively ceremonies and intricate masks, the Kota for iconic reliquary figures guarding ancestors' remains, and the Punu for skillfully crafted wooden masks. The Kato reliquary figure, made of brass or wood, is a fascinating aspect, serving as a bridge between the spiritual and earthly realms in rituals honoring ancestors. In the heart of Gabon, the diverse tribes express their cultural identity through these rituals and symbolic figures, connecting them to a rich heritage.

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast, situated in West Africa, is bursting with diverse cultures and vibrant traditions. An intriguing facet of Ivorian culture is the practice of “scarification”, where patterns are carved into the skin, serving as a form of body art reflecting personal and cultural identity.

Ivory Coast is a mosaic of various tribes, each contributing to the cultural wealth of the country. One notable tribe is the Baoulé, adding a distinctive element to Ivorian society. Ancestors play a crucial role in Baoulé society and religion, with a belief in a parallel world called Blolo. In this world, spirits of the deceased and those yet to be born reside, intricately linked to the living realm.

Like many other ethnic groups in Ivory Coast, mask dances hold significant importance in Baoulé religion. These masks, exclusively worn by selected men, are considered powerful tools to invoke ancestors and nature spirits. The Baoulé have four distinct mask dances: Gba Gba, Mblo, Bo Nun Amuin, and Goli. These masks carry deeper meanings, playing a vital role in ceremonial contexts, narrating stories of wisdom and community connection. They are also used in various rituals surrounding events like birth, circumcision, death, and initiation into societies.


In vibrant Nigeria, situated on the West Coast of Africa, a multitude of cultures and traditions come to life. Nigeria, not only the most populous country on the continent but also a melting pot of ethnic diversity, boasts a fascinating cultural tapestry. An intriguing facet of Nigerian culture is the Nupe fabric, a textile tradition reflecting the rich history and skills of the Nupe people. This beautiful fabric, with its striking patterns and colors, narrates stories of heritage and creativity.

Within Nigeria's traditional art, the spotlight shines on the remarkable chairs adorned with beadwork. These chairs are true works of art, crafted by hand with carefully embedded beads, showcasing not only a seating arrangement but also emphasizing the craftsmanship of the Nigerians. The beadwork on these chairs often holds deep symbolic meanings, recounting stories that echo through time.

Strolling through the diverse regions of Nigeria, one discovers not only the warm hospitality of the people but also the unique ways in which they cherish and express their heritage, from textile art to the exquisite beadwork on their exceptional chairs.


Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. While Porto-Novo serves as the official capital, the economic and largest city is Cotonou. Positioned as the vibrant economic hub, Benin embraces a diverse array of ethnic groups, with the Fon people standing out as one of the largest. Within Fon society, there's a strong emphasis on respecting older generations and traditions. Greeting elders and upholding traditional standards of decency and respect form crucial aspects of the social fabric.

A captivating facet of Beninese culture, is the flourishing art scene, notably the bronze artworks known as the "Benin Bronzes." The artists behind these bronzes were highly skilled craftsmen adept in various materials such as brass, bronze, ivory, coral, leather, and wood.

Numerous stunning sculptures are crafted, with the bronze leopard being the most recurrent. It symbolizes the boundless power of the Oba (the king), who had the exclusive right to kill leopards within strict ritual confines. Tamed leopards were also part of the Oba's court retinue.

In Benin, greeting with the right hand is customary, deeming the left hand as impure. Another fascinating characteristic of Benin is its vibrant culture, marked by traditional dances, colorful attire, and lively music.


Namibia, an expansive land of enchanting landscapes and cultural diversity, stands as a gem in Southern Africa. Windhoek, the capital, serves as the gateway to Namibia's wonders, offering a blend of modernity and traditional charm.

Nestled within the breathtaking Namib Desert, Namibia boasts some of the world's tallest and most captivating sand dunes. The iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei create a surreal landscape that is simultaneously serene and awe-inspiring. The ancient Deadvlei, with its ghostly camel thorn trees set against the vivid blue sky, is a photographer's dream.

Namibia's cultural tapestry is intricately woven with threads from diverse ethnic groups, each contributing to the nation's rich heritage. The Himba people, recognized for their ochre-covered bodies and intricate hairstyles, provide a glimpse into ancient traditions that have withstood the test of time. In contrast, the cosmopolitan city of Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast offers a fusion of German colonial architecture and a lively seaside atmosphere.

Wildlife enthusiasts find tranquility in Etosha National Park, a sanctuary for various species, including majestic elephants, rhinos, and large felines. The expansive salt pan and waterholes of the park attract a variety of animals, providing a unique safari experience.

Namibia's jewelry takes the form of exquisite Himba beadwork. These vibrant beads, crafted with care, showcase a tradition of storytelling, conveying narratives of cultural significance and personal stories. Each bead reflects the artisan's skill and the beauty of Namibia's cultural mosaic.


Mozambique, situated along the picturesque east coast of Africa, there are pristine beaches, kissed by the Indian Ocean, boast ivory sands and crystal-clear waters. From the Bazaruto Archipelago to Vilanculos, they invite tranquility, water adventures, and breathtaking coral reefs.

It is also a land imbued with captivating cultural treasures. The diversity is mirrored in the many tribes that call Mozambique home, each with unique traditions and customs. A notable tribe in Mozambique is the Makua, renowned for their traditional music and dance deeply rooted in their spiritual beliefs. Another remarkable community is the Tsonga, whose rich oral history and vibrant ceremonies form the core of their identity. Mozambican culture thrives on vibrant festivals and celebrations, such as the Mapiko Mask Dance Festival organized by the Makonde tribe. These masks, carved from wood, embody the spiritual power of the tribe, and are used in rituals and festivities.

In terms of crafts, Mozambique is renowned for its exquisite textiles and baskets woven by the Xitsonga community. These artisanal masterpieces are not only visually stunning but also contribute to preserving traditional techniques and supporting local communities.


Beautifully situated in East Africa, Tanzania unveils a treasury of natural wonders and cultural diversity. The majestic Kilimanjaro, the world's highest freestanding mountain, proudly rises above the landscape, while the impressive Ngorongoro Crater, an immense, bowl-shaped crater, offers a visual spectacle in the national park. Here, you have the chance to experience the wilderness in its most lush form.

In this setting of natural splendor, Tanzania is home to no less than 162 different tribes, each with unique characteristics. From the Hadza tribe, which sources its food directly from nature to the Masai tribe, renowned for its distinctive Maasai beadwork, a colorful expression of their traditions. These intricate bead creations serve not only as adornments but also act as powerful symbols of identity, representing age, marital status, and social position.

Let's not forget the artistic masterpieces, such as the enchanting wooden masks that tell profound stories of wisdom and community. These masks are an integral part of Tanzania's rich heritage, where art and tradition flourish side by side.

With over 4 million wild animals and an unparalleled animal density of 430 species and subspecies per square kilometer, Tanzania offers a safari experience like no other. About 20% of Africa's large mammals call Tanzania home, making it a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

About our African art

Our collection of African art embodies the rich cultural heritage of the continent. Each piece has been handpicked by members of our team who have spent years immersing themselves in African trade, art and craft. 

We are passionate about sharing the stories behind our products, where they come from and how they are made. Please feel free to ask us more about the products we stock when you visit. We also encourage you to look for sources of information around the space, we are on a mission to expand our guests understanding of what we sell, offering insights into the history, craftsmanship and cultural significance of each piece. 

Our offerings are more than just items,
they’re stories waiting to be told.

African collectibles

Art, design and objects have played a vital role in Africa for millennia. Pieces like masks and statues are more than just decorative objects; they are windows into the rich tapestry of African culture, history, and spirituality. These captivating artefacts tell stories of ancient traditions, spiritual beliefs, and the daily lives of the diverse cultures and communities that call this vast continent home.


Nestled within the heart of this continent lies a treasure trove of wondrous hand-made baskets. The attention to detail required to master this intricate skill makes it a range of products we will forever praise. This utilitarian craftsmanship is a feat of both artistic and functional mastery. 

Functional art

Deeply rooted in the historical traditions of diverse cultures across the Africa, functional art serves as a profound expression of beliefs, practices, and social structures. It encompasses a rich variety of artistic forms, each bearing unique aesthetics and symbolism. Notably, this art serves a dual purpose, combining functionality with artistic expression. From practical pottery to ornate weapons and tools, these creations are more than mere objects; they are essential components of everyday life, imbued with cultural significance. 


African textiles stand as vibrant and intricate reflections of the continent’s rich cultural tapestry. Woven with skill and adorned with bold, distinctive patterns and colours, these textiles serve not only as cloth but as powerful symbols of identity, heritage, and storytelling. Each thread weaves a narrative, connecting generations and preserving the unique traditions and histories of diverse African communities. Whether it’s the dazzling kente cloth of West Africa, the intricate mud cloth of Mali, or the vibrant kitenge fabric found throughout East and Central Africa, these textiles are a testament to the creativity and artistry that define African textile traditions.