GOA originally started off as a private collection of African arts and crafts. It consisted of African art and crafts that had been inherited and art that had been bought from other collectors as well as African art and crafts that had just appealed to us. But as the collection grew, we felt that we need a forum from which we could exhibit our collection and allow others to see and appreciate it as well.

We also felt that it was always the dreadful plights of Africa that was being highlighted and as much as these were very important issues to be brought to the attention of people, we felt that people were missing out on the wealth of amazing art that Africa had to offer. We wanted people to know that there is more to Africa than famine!

We wanted more people to see that there is wealth of talented artists crafting and creating wonderful works of art that can be appreciated for their natural beauty, paintings that are thought provoking as well as decorative and traditional African art that has great historical significance and meaning. Items such as the Yoruba beaded belt, which can be appreciated not only for its beauty, but also for the history (Link to Yoruba beaded belt) also carvings such as our ebony female bust, which is simple yet stunning (Link to Ebony Bust )

On a more recent visit to Nigeria, we were able to meet up with the famous Fakeye carver, Akin Fakeye. It was very interesting listening to tales of his childhood and the different sources of inspiration for his art. We were lucky enough to purchase some of his pieces as well as pieces from AK Fakeye (Link to Fakeye carving)
During our many travels we have managed to gather together a wide range of African art and crafts. Where possible, we have tried to provide information about the different African art that we have as we feel that once the history, purpose or origin of an item is known, it adds a special significance to it. Also to make shopping on Grains of Africa easier we have written a brief introduction for each section.

Collectors Link to Collectors section 

This section showcases some of the pieces that were in our private collection and other African art pieces that we bought from other collectors. This section is for those of you that already have existing collections and want to add to it or those that want to start collecting African art. The items in this section make great showpieces, which naturally draw the eye. The collectors section is also for those that a seeking the unique and unusual.

Masks Link to African Masks section

The African masks section was put together as a way to easily showcase contemporary African masks and Traditional African masks that we had obtained during our various travels. It is a section for those that are looking into maybe purchasing an African mask as a gift, an accessory to decorate their home or office or simply as an addition to a new or existing collection. It is also a section where people that just want to have an idea of the types of masks that Africa has to offer can browse through. This section will also be useful for room stylists as it has distinctive and unusual African masks that compliment the majority of room settings.

Contemporary Link to Contemporary African art section

Our contemporary section is for those that are looking for something modern but African. This section displays a range of items from contemporary African masks, to contemporary sculptures and paintings. The contemporary African art in this section will suit any décor and would make a great gift. Items such as our African Puzzle mask ( Link to Puzzle Mask) would look great in both modern and traditional room settings by adding a touch of Africa to the room without overpowering it.

Paintings Link to African Paintings section

Compilation of the African paintings section was a huge eye opener for us as it has made us fully realize the talent and creativity of African artists. We were amazed to find out that painters such as Van Gogh were influenced by African art, but having come across amazing works of art from African artists, we can better understand why western artists were influenced. The meaning and influences of some of the African paintings are simply amazing. For example the artist who painted the African print entitled Orisha (Link to Orisha print) was influenced by what he dreamt. The art represents the spirit of dead ancestors who can be viewed upon, as guardians, which is very similar to the art of seven seven. Also when looking at the African print ‘dance for a new wife’ (Link to Dance for new wife African print) you can feel the movement of the dance and the joy of the bridegroom as he dances for his new wife. Whilst for our print ‘village scene’ (Link to village scene African print) you can feel the peace and tranquility that the artist is evoking. Our paintings, prints and relief sculptures can be appreciated for the feelings they stir up and for their meaning. Without being bias we can say that these are beautiful pieces of African art which we are sure would be very much appreciated as gifts and would definitely add to any room they are placed in.

Sculptures Link to African Sculptures section

Our sculptures section is an amalgamation of both modern and traditional African sculptures. It has well known items such as the Ashanti and Akan fertility doll (Link to Ashanti fertility doll) as well as the South African Zulu shield (Link to Zulu Shield) and carvings from the well-known family of carvers the Fakeye’s. Our African sculptures section showcases unusual African art such Ekpe Masquerade a (Link to Ekpe Masquerade) as well as stunning but simple sculptures such ‘woman at work’ (Link to Ebony Scuplture) This section is great for those that are looking for that something special as it panders to a host of different tastes.

Musical Instruments Link to African Musical Instruments section

This section consists of different types of African musical instrument – but at the moment it consists mainly of African drums. The drums are functional so they can be used by themselves or as part of a band. They are also quite decorative and therefore can be displayed in the home or office as a piece of African art.

Fakeye and Traditional Yoruba Art Link to Fakeye and Traditional Yoruba art section

This section boasts a wide range of traditional African art as well as a range of Fakeye carvings (Link to Fakeye carving) . The traditional Yoruba carvings that are on display here brings to attention the talent of African carvers, in this case Yoruba carvers. The skill of the carvers can easily be seen in the intricateness of the carvings. Upon looking at the Fakeye carving, it is easy to understand why the Fakeye family are known as a family of reknowned carvers – the intricateness of the carving is amazing and attests to the skill of the carver. This section is geared towards those that are looking for the more traditional African art and also collectors of Fakeye carvings.

Miscellaneous Link to Miscellaneous section

The miscellaneous section is a compilation of different pieces, which were picked up in our travels. The section has snakeskin wallets and beaded jewellery from Nigeria, Kuba cloths and trinket boxes from Congo. The section is good for picking up something small but special. The Kuba cloth look great hung up on the wall or draped over a sofa as it adds a nice touch of African to the room. Our beaded jewellery are unisex and looks good on formal cloths as well as on jeans and t-shirt. The trinket box looks fantastic on a mantle piece or dressing table as well as anywhere else it is placed. It’s excellent for jewellery and little knick knacks and looks beautiful.

Compilation of all of the African art and crafts for our website Grains of African has been a labour of love and is by no means a completed job as there is still so much more that we will bring to you but, we hope that you like what we have done so far. We hope that you enjoy buying and owning the African art and crafts as much as we enjoyed sourcing and bringing them to you. Also we are always getting new things so if you want that something special but can’t see it, drop us an email and we will see what we can do!

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