THE TRIBAL DRUM
March is always an exciting month at Tribal Textiles as we welcome our artists back after the rains. 2013 has been no exception, and with a production schedule filled with orders from around the globe, there is plenty to keep us busy. It’s wonderful to see our workshop bubble with music, laughter and creativity as friends come together again for a new year.
This month we wanted to share one of our star sellers of 2012 with you – the stunning Ladies and Warriors in Massai
. Ladies and Warriors was one of the first Tribal Textiles’ designs to be created back in 1991. In 2012 we thought it was about time these lovely ladies and wise warriors had a makeover, so working with our artists, we updated the design to include colourful clothing details, funky African jewellery and of course, spears and knobkerries for our brave warriors. The vibrant Massai colourway has given the design a whole new lease of life, and we are thrilled that our Ladies and Warriors will enter their 20s with such style and panache.
Did you know… that the national bird of Zambia is the beautiful African Fish Eagle? Fish eagles are large birds of prey with wingspans measuring over 2 metres. In the Luangwa Valley they are often spotted swooping majestically over fish-filled lagoons and for many visitors, their unmistakable call is the sound of the African bush. The eagle is so iconic that it appears on the Zambian national coat of arms, where it represents the freedom of Zambia and the ability of the country to rise above its problems.
After the success of our Tribal Textiles Art Safaris in 2012, we are thrilled to welcome more amateur artists to our workshop this Easter. Kids and adults alike love joining our experienced artists to hand paint their own textiles with our stunning range of colourful water-based fabric paints. When these unique textiles have finished drying in the African sun, we bake them and then sew them into beautiful momentos for our visitors to take home; a lasting memory of their time on safari.
Tribal Art Safaris are not only great fun; they have a conscience too, with a donation from every booking going to our local community school Malimba. For 2013, all money raised will go towards buying art supplies for the 160 children who currently attend Malimba School
, so they too can have the opportunity to explore their imaginations and bring their ideas to life through art.
It’s all change for Tribal Textiles’ management in 2013, with new roles for some, and new horizons for other. After spending a year as our wonderful General Assistant, Marie is now taking on the role of Production Manager. With her background in art and architecture, Marie is thrilled to be in the thick of developing new designs and colourways for 2013. Rosie has moved to Sales and Marketing this year, where she will be working with our many wonderful stockists. And last but not least, Kate headed for pastures new in February 2013 after 5 years with Tribal Textiles. It was with some trepidation and lots of tears that we bid her farewell, but we are thrilled that she will be following her passion for designing jewellery by working full-time for Mulberry Mongoose
. Kate will have another new job in May when she becomes a mum for the first time too! We wish her every happiness and success for the future.
Last but not least, we are happy to kick off 2013 by introducing one of our very special Tribal Textiles’ staff members, Paul Lungu. Paul began working with Tribal Textiles as a gardener in 2000, and his positive outlook and fantastic work ethic soon marked him out for promotion to Head Groundsman and Storesman. Paul has 6 children, and he’s proud that his son Jeff also works with Tribal Textiles in our painting department.
Paul’s favourite part of his job is the variety – one day he finds himself decorating the Tribal Textiles shop, the next plumbing, another tending our vegetable garden, and of course always capably managing the company’s stores. When asked if he ever gets lonely holding the fort during the rains when the workshop is closed, Paul says he doesn’t mind, as after 13 years he’s used to it. We think he also secretly likes being in charge of the Tribal Textiles sound system, where he loves to mix up the Zambian tunes with his favourite – James Brown!
2013 is set to be one of Tribal Textiles’ busiest years yet, and we look forward to keeping you abreast of all our work via our newsletters and Facebook page. From the whole Tribal Textiles team, thank you to all our fantastic stockists and clients for your support of this wonderful business in the heart of the African bush.