Almost every definition of a bowl goes pretty much as follows . . .
a round, deep dish or basin used for food or liquid
But we beg to differ!
We've been using teapots for thousands of years.
No kidding, thousands!
Teapots were invented back in the Yuan Dynasty (in China). The design likely progressed gradually from ceramic kettles and wine pots made of metals. Prior to that, only cauldrons were used to boil tea which was then served in bowls.
By the Ming Dynasty, use of the teapot was widespread in China
Early teapots were small in comparison to what we use today, as they were usually designed for a single tea drinker. Believe it or not, once the tea was brewed, they usually drank it straight from the teapot spout! If I'd done that as a child, my grandmother would have clipped my ear! Different strokes for different folks, indeed.
They might have actually been onto something, as single portions of tea are easier to control with regard to flavour and are easier to repeat consistently.
From the 17th century onward, tea was shipped from China to Europe, along with exotic spices and other luxuries. Porcelain teapots, often painted in the familiar blue and white we associate with many Chinese ceramics, were also shipped out.
Here's a fun fact! Because porcelain is completely vitrified, it can stand subjection to seawater without harm. Therefore the teapots could be stowed below deck. The tea, however, had to be stowed above deck in order to remain dry.
Swaziland is a small, landlocked monarchy in Southern Africa - best known for its wilderness reserves and festivals.
The borders of delightful Swaziland are shared with Mozambique and South Africa. The Lebombo Moutains, Mlawula Nature Reserve and the Hlane Royal National park are all fascinating spots to visit. Diverse wildlife including lions, hippos and elephants can be spotted throughout Swaziland.
Swaziland is known for civility and peacefulness, making it a great place to begin to experience Africa.
The KwaZulu Natal is about as eclectic a place as you can find. That's part of what makes it so interesting.
Rough and magical, smart and sophisticated, rural and urban, the KwaZulu Natal is a symphony of differences. Shabby suburbs nestle cheek to cheek with upscale malls. Beautiful beaches contrast with dramatic mountains and dry savannahs. African life beats a vigorous counterpoint in markets to the quieter and more pastoral settings in the rural areas.
We encounter handmade products in trendsetting boutiques, and view them as artfully arranged emblems of good taste. So, why do we think that?
That venerable tale of the tortoise and the hare isn't just an amusing story. It's a lesson in making the right choices - in the long run!
Natural fibres are a great advantage when selecting fashion accessories. Add to that the beauty of hand weaving or knitting and you get gorgeous, long-lasting fashion pieces that are uniquely different.
When production of fashion accessories also achieves minimal impact on the environment, productive employment and skills training, it is a Win/Win for everyone involved!
Tsandza Handweaving produces some of the most beautiful, gorgeously hued, bespoke quality fashion accessories we've ever seen.
Natural fibres are more comfortable, are less allergic to skin and production processes are less harmful to our environment. All wins as far as we are concerned.
We avoid synthetic fibres as they do not absorb perspiration and, for the most part, have a rough texture and feel we just don't like.
First established in 1979, Tsandza Weaving, formerly known as Rosecraft Weaving, is a social enterprise that produces high quality products, handwoven in pure natural fibres by talented artisans in rural Swaziland.
Consumers seeking ethically produced items that make an impact to a bigger purpose when making their purchase will find "forever presents" that not only represent beauty and skill, but also contribute to a more sustainable future for us all
MADE BY HAND
Every step of Tsandza’s production process is done by hand. From the dying, spinning & weaving to the knotting & tasseling. Even our sewing machines for labelling are manual! This means every item we make is unique and exclusive to you. Our impact on our environment is greatly reduced, and it also means we need many hands, ensuring we continue to be a vital source of training and income generation for many rural women.
It is quite a complex process requiring patience, skill and a lot of work!
The Tuareg silversmiths of Azel are a group of African artisans who truly excel at the creation of exquisite fine silver jewelry and leather artifacts. Tuareg history goes back 7 thousand years!
There are 21 styles attributed to this Cross Of Agadez,
aka The Southern Cross
Fall is nature's second "rejuvenating period". Just like Spring, in the fall our thoughts naturally turn to refreshing, cleaning, sprucing things up.
And there's a psychological history behind this instinct! In our prehistory, it was natural to make sure that everything was safe and in order before cold weather set in. Our intimate connection with nature dictates our behaviour!
Whether you call them slippers or house shoes, there is just no denying we have an attachment to the warmth and comfort they deliver.
Especially when the days get shorter and the evenings get colder! In fact, I have "seasonal" slippers to suit the temperature all year round.
The word "slippers" comes, of course, from the verb "to slip". As in - slip on your feet. Most think slippers originated in the East but it turns out that almost every culture has had a form of comfy foot gear to wear around the house.
The earliest recorded reference to a slipper was
in the 12th Century - in Vietnam
A Song Dynasty Officer described two different types of slippers with thongs between the toes.
The earliest reference to slippers in the West was about 1478.
Decorating with accessories is a terrific way to give your home a little lift - without breaking the bank!
First and foremost, choose quality items. While mass-produced items are plentiful and inexpensive, they aren't really what you want to surround yourself with. One or two quality pieces are far better than a vast array of run-of-the-mill pieces easily found in your local discount décor store.
Quality home décor accessories will also stand the test of time far better than mass-produced items of inferior manufacture
Look for unique pieces. You're unique - reflect that in your personal environment.
A stunning wall-mounted Impala
sculpted from recycled steel
is a unique piece you won't find just anywhere!
How many times (as a child) did you hear "Quit monkeying around"?
Well, now we're telling you we think you should! The holidays are coming up fast and we can think of no better way to present your lovely holiday culinary creations than on our beautiful one-of-a-kind .
We guarantee this platter will be a conversation starter at your holiday table!
If you want your guests to "tell the story" about the best tea party they ever attended, invite a Hyena to your table.
A giraffe sleeps only about two hours per day. Just imagine how much I could get done!
And they are so loved - the world round. The number of visitors to websites featuring the imminent birth of a baby giraffe is just astounding. And, who can forget the unbelievable response to the baby toy 'Sophie the Giraffe"? It was difficult to get your hands on one!
And, how can we forget the ubiquitious TOYSRUS mascot - Geoffrey the Giraffe? My grand-daughter can't get enough of the terrific children's book Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae.
Billed on their website as "a magical experience for big kids and children alike", we have to say we've never seen a more interesting and interactive store!
Located in beautiful Hawkesbury, Ontario (on the Ottawa River and the border of Quebec), Jacob's Treasures is simply amazing.
Zawadee is proud to count this astounding store as one of our newest retailers of Zawadee products.
"Jewellery is a living art" says Seema Persad, Co-Founder of Symbols Jewellery in Trinidad & Tobago.
And Seema's business is thriving in the Carribean! At Zawadee, we think her success has a lot to do with her tagline - "Speak from the heart". Seema does, and it shows!
"I love clothes and I love to shop", says Debbie Noel, Zawadee's newest retailer.
And her namesake store, Debbie Noel Women's Fashions, is a showcase of Debbie's fashion sense! As she says, her love of shopping is a real asset, as she puts a lot of time into sourcing high quality merchandise for her customers.
our zawadee-sponsored bike team - spokes & folks - geared up "big time" to fight multiple sclerosis
Riding 150 kilometers in extremely hot temperatures (but hey, they weren't complaining) our Spokes & Folks members (27 of them) raised an astounding $14,000 to help fight MS. It's no wonder they won the Best Team Spirit award - coveted by the 133 teams in the MS Gear Ride.
Our oldest rider is 67 and our youngest (2 of them) are 10! Despite the heat, everyone displayed amazingly cheerful and cooperative spirits. Just two flat tyres and one "wonky knee" according to Captain Robert's damage report.
Black panthers are a symbol of courage, strength and personal leadership, and are revered by many throughout the world.
Because of their rarity, unbridled strength and power, it’s no surprise that these majestic, solitary creatures have woven their way into African mythology.
The Rise in Popularity of African Art
Tanzanite – December’s alternative birthstone - is a gemstone that imparts vision and spirituality. A member of the zoisite mineral family, tanzanite supports compassion, calmness, and peacefulness with its rich, purple-blue hue.
Our blog series exploring the peoples and cultures of Africa has been such a success with our readers, we thought you might be interested in a series of publications available from the Harriet Tubman Institute - about the Global Migrations of African Peoples.
We have found these publications to be immensely interesting as we learn about where African people migrated to (willingly or unwillingly) and, more positively, about the tremendous influences in music, arts and customs they brought to bear.
Citrine – November's birthstone (as well as Topaz) – is widely regarded as the “healing quartz”. Derived from the French word “citrin,” meaning lemon, Citrine supports health and vitality, and encourages hope, energy and warmth within the person wearing the stone.
Halloween is one of the most fun and most exciting times of the year for children, and, in recent years, it has increased in popularity with adults as well. While it is perhaps most popular in the United States, Canada and the Western World, traditions and celebrations vary from country to country. Even though it may not be as popular as in other countries, Halloween is celebrated in South Africa.
Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the signs of Scorpio and Libra along with pink tourmaline. The gemstone associated with celebration of the 14th year of marriage, the word opal is believed to come from the Sanskrit word "upala" - which means precious stone. It may also be related to the Greek word "Opallios" which means to see a change of colour.
It's very hard to define Harriet Tubman. Her dedication and bravery overwhelms us.
Born a slave, beaten and whipped, Harriet Tubman's devout Christianity allowed her to pray for her "master", despite his treatment of her. Harriet's finely honed sense of right and wrong steeled her resolve and ultimately she escaped to Philadelphia.
Sapphires get their name from the Latin word sapphirus which means blue. Often referred to as "the gem of the heavens" or the "celestial gem", sapphires mirror the colour of the sky at certain times of day.
Rubies are the red version of the mineral corundum - just like sapphire!
Take a Photo Safari through Serengeti National Park
When you think of an African safari, chances are images of the Serengeti spring to mind. Nothing quite imbues the grandeur of Africa and its wildlife as the vast open plains of the Serengeti.
Peridot has been the official August Birthstone since 1912 but its history goes back much further than that! The name comes from the French word ``peritot`` - which means gold - likely because the stone can vary toward the colour gold. Peridot is also given to celebrate a 16th Wedding Anniversary.
For any Leo in your group of friends and family (or, for that matter, anyone who likes Peridot), this collection of Peridot history, myth and lore would be a great accompaniment to the gift of this beautiful semi-precious gemstone.
Hundreds of kilometers off the coast of Madagascar exists a special place, which has remained relatively untouched by humans.
There are numerous islands scattered in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, and among these is the Aldabra Atoll. This island ecosystem—which belongs to the Seychelles—consists of four islands surrounding a large shallow lagoon.
The African wild dogs’ numbers are dwindling fast. They once roamed much of the continent, but today can only be found in a few small pockets scattered throughout Africa. It’s estimated that there may be as few as 3,000-6,000 left.
Imagine seeing upwards of a million and a half vibrant-colored flamingos congregated on the shores of a single lake.
Well, it’s not an uncommon occurrence in the Kenyan Lake System of the Great Rift Valley.
About 25 miles south of the bustling city of Cape Town, tucked near the southern tip of South Africa, is one of the most gorgeous and unique displays of plant life in the world.
The Cape Floristic Region is one of just six designated floral kingdoms worldwide. Africa is proudly home to 129 World Heritage sites, spread over 37 African countries.
The Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia is as picturesque as it comes. Hills, mountains, rivers, graceful waterfalls, jungles and numerous exotic wild animals and plants all converge in this one area. The grand Omo River snakes through the region emptying in Lake Turkana at the Kenyan border.
Africa is home to an incredible array of fascinating animals—among them many of the world’s most majestic big cats.
Imagine a society with no warfare, no rules, no official leaders, no known history of famine and relatively no personal possessions; a place where people truly live in the here and now.
Well, such a place still exists.
In northern Tanzania—in one of the harshest environments on the planet—live the Hadzabe people. The Hadzabe are a small indigenous ethnic group, numbering fewer than 1,000.
The Zulu (pronounced ZOO-loo) people are one of the most well-known groups in Africa, most notably for their unique style of speaking. Descendants of the Nguni-speaking people, they are known for their "click" speaking and singing.
Many of us won’t even consider starting the day without our daily jolt of coffee.
For centuries, people all over the world and from all walks of life have enjoyed sipping this tasty, caffeinated beverage.
But coffee is more than a simple drink. Its social aspect throughout history cannot be denied. Sipping a cup of coffee is a ritualistic experience for some. Coffee houses throughout the ages have provided a place for people to share art, poetry, music, politics and simple camaraderie.
With a crisp chill in the air and snow under our feet, many of us are searching our wardrobes for something to wear that will increase warmth without making us look like the Michelin Man!
Do you ever wonder where the Angora fabric in your winter sweater and scarves comes from? You may be surprised!
African carvings have become very popular décor items in recent years. With people taking more of an interest in global art forms, and with the rise in popularity of abstract sculptures, this type of art is popping up in homes, offices and galleries across North America.
A particular type of African carving that is particularly alluring are handmade soapstone carvings from Kenya. While soapstone has been used for years as a carving material, it is the Kisii stone that is most desirable.
Each year, millions of Serengeti wildebeests migrate across the African continent. But they are not the only ones. A number of different groups of animals move throughout Africa in a similar pattern each year, with the goal being to find water to drink and land to graze.
Zebras are one of the largest of the secondary groups that are part of the Serengeti migration each year. In fact, more than 200,000 zebras participate in this amazing journey each year.
Similar to Black Friday in the United States, Boxing Day, which is held on the day after Christmas, is one of the most popular shopping days in Canada and in other parts of the world.
It’s a day where deal seekers are out en masse, looking to take advantage of huge sales. It’s a day where millions of Canadians get up early, it’s almost impossible to get a parking spot at your local mall, and there are line ups to get into stores – all in hopes of getting a smoking deal on a TV, buy that gift they didn’t get for Christmas, or to cash in their gift cards.
“When we plant trees, we plant
the seeds of peace and hope.”
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organization, based in Kenya, which seeks to empower communities to conserve the environment. It was founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai as an offshoot of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) in response to the requests of rural Kenyan women. These women noticed a number of environmental issues that were posing a threat to the African environment, namely the drying up of streams, unsecured food supplies.
Tuareg culture is rich in history and tradition. A semi-nomadic Berber people, the Tuareg inhabit a large area of the middle and western Sahara and travel throughout Algeria, Mali, Niger and as far as Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria.
In fact, Tuareg people don't perceive the Sahara as one desert, but as many. They call the Sahara "Tinariwen" which means "the deserts". The Tuareg language is spoken by more than 1 million people.
Extraordinary silversmiths, the Tuareg produce some of the most unique silver jewelry in the world.
Commonly referred to as one of the great wonders of the world, the migration of african wildlife over the Serengeti is one of the most beautiful things to see in Africa.
The Serengeti wildebeest migration is a movement of vast numbers. The wildebeest are accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelle, eland and impala along their journey. The groups of animals move in a similar pattern throughout the year, making it a continual process as they are constantly looking for fresh land to graze and high quality water sources.
Most people have probably heard about the issues with poaching in Africa, and you may have even seen some of the images in National Geographic or on the Internet or television.
What most people fail to realize, though, is how brutal and serious an issue poaching actually is.
Illegal wildlife trade is a $19 billion per year industry – something that is causing some of the most endangered species on earth to reach critically low levels. Without action, many of these species could become extinct a lot sooner than you think.
Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, has become a cultural phenomenon.
It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers and shoppers in the U.S.
We have all seen the images of people lining up for days in advance of huge sales that only happen once per year. We have also seen the crazy videos of people fighting over items, and the mass crowds in stores that make you wonder if it’s worth the trouble. The sales numbers suggest that people in the US (and increasingly, in Canada) believe the crowds and line ups are worth the deals.
As those of you who follow us (and thanks for doing so) know, we recently announced our collaboration with Dominic Mancuso Group (and others), beginning a new movement - Evoking Humanity.
Evoking Humanity is an effort undertaken to increase global harmony by sharing (and listening to) each others stories - our "truths". It is an open invitation to engage in celebrating each other's cultures and experiences.
One of the most popular and fascinating forms of Makonde art is sculpture – especially sculptures. These pieces have become extremely popular today with art collectors and homeowners alike. Considering they come in many shapes, sizes, and types of carvings, it’s not surprising they are popping up all over the world.
Thanksgiving is a celebration that is observed in a select few countries around the world. However, while it is not a universal celebration, many other countries and regions do share similar festivals and celebrations. In Africa, it is known as Festival of the Rains or the Homowo Festival.
Drums have been around since the dawn of time
They are deeply rooted in history, spirituality, tribal ceremonies, and, of course, music. Every culture has a unique drumming history. Many primitive cultures used drums to celebrate battle victories and for rituals. Others used drums for worship as well as for music. The drum permeates the history of many cultures.
This Young Man Is A Shining Example: How An 11 Year Old Helped In The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis
"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon"
Zawadee - Bring Africa Home sponsored the Spokes & Folks Team in the recent London to Grand Bend "Gear Up to End MS" ride. Doing so was a life-enriching experience for our entire Zawadee family.
The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis - How 1,710 Cyclists Raised 1.34 Million Dollars in One Weekend
The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis – How 1,710 cyclists raised 1.34 million dollars in 1 weekend!
It seems unbelievable but it is indeed true.
Zawadee - Bring Africa Home sponsors Spokes and Folks Team
An astounding 1,714 cyclists on 143 teams will come together on July 26th-27th, 2014 to take part in a ride that will make a difference - Gear Up to End MS - Grand Bend to London, Ontario and back - 150 km. Proceeds raised fund both world-class research and innovative programs and services across Canada.
One of the most interesting forms of African art - one that we are seeing more and more in homes around the world - is . It is the visual appeal and abstract nature of the hand carvings especially that intrigue people, making these pieces very desirable in both home and office décor.
About Makonde Art
Makonde art has become popular in Western culture because of the fascinating nature of the pieces and the history of the Makonde culture. The Makonde peoples from Mozambique and Tanzania are known for their hand carved wood pieces in the global artistic community.
It was an evening of music and movement at Moving Forward’s Moroccan Nights Gala last Friday night as hundreds gathered to celebrate and honor Marie Fiorellino Di Poce, founder of ETA Vaughan Women’s Shelter & Outreach Centre.
Zawadee - Bring Africa Home was pleased to participate in this worthwhile event.
We spent an enjoyable evening talking to gala participants about our artwork, jewelry, sculpture and home decor. Our lovely handcrafted African wildlife and were highly popular! Our Maasai Table Decor benefits both street children and women in need of employment through the Arusha Street Children Project.