If we ask the question, “Is Africa in your home?” you might respond, “Come on, Shabuta. My home, itself, is in Liberia, West Africa!” And you would be correct, but are you willing to undergo the “background check?” Invite us to your home and we’ll check to see if we can find Africa anywhere there.
Let’s see what we might encounter: We enter your yard and see a nice rectangular house sitting there. And as we enter the house, we find heavy curtains or draperies flowing from ceiling to floor covering the windows. The generator or the electricity is turned on so the “decorator” lamps can give us some light and we are invited to sit on a fat, overstuffed sofa. Beautifully framed photographs of the family grace the walls and a huge mirror is over the mantel – imported from abroad. Tables and chairs modeled after old European styles complete the décor. We now ask, “Where is Africa in your home?”
Before your anger rises we’ve got to quickly admit that most of our Liberian homes do not fit the above description. And we’re proud to say we’ve visited some homes here in Liberia where the answer would be a resounding, “Yes! Africa is everywhere in my home!” Take, for example, the humble palava hut.
Some people have designed beautiful palava huts for their yards. The very roundness is symbolic of African family togetherness. Inside the circle, energy flows unbroken. It’s one of the reasons conflicts are successfully resolved there. As soon as you enter the compound and see the palava hut, you relax your way into the African ambiance.
Inside the home is where our local artists’ works can make your home “shine” – become a stunning show piece or just a comforting space for your spirit. Our traditional furniture makers include some formidable artists producing works of skill and beauty.
We can have original art pieces as furnishings in our home while preserving our art heritage. We’ll also be supporting our cultural artists and making a cultural artistic statement.
An excellent way to have “Africa in Your Home” is to dedicate some of that wall space and table-top space to Liberian artists’ works – as many of us do.
Even your loved ones could benefit from a holiday or special gift that puts African in their homes!
Do your own “background check”. Make sure you have Africa in your home, office, and business.