Traditional Markets of Swaziland
The traditional markets are a great place to get chatting to the locals. Traditional materials are still being used to create innovative designs to appeal to both international and local markets. Beautiful jewellery made by the local women has been used as traditional cultural dress and here it lines the stalls. With a big hunting culture, spears and shields of animal hide are on sale also.
Weaving, batik, candle making and jewelry making are popular crafts in Swazi life having been encouraged by the increase in tourism. When you are there, don't hold back, and make sure you leave with a bag full or treasures. They are not that expensive (with a bit of haggling) and will offer small fortunes to the artist behind them.
Fruit and veg are also very cheap. We did two days on just fruit whilst staying in a nature reserve with expensive food to save money and 20 mangoes for 30 Rand was a serious help!
Manzini market and Mbabane are the biggest markets where you can watch almost everything being made in front of you. Swazi candle craft centre is more directed at tourists, with higher prices. But if you ask the craftsmen, you can go and make your own candle for the same price as buying one, a worthwhile experience!
One lovely woman called Victoria and her son Makhosi own one of the stalls in Mbabane market. Makhosi specializes in Arabian oils, whilst his mother was a fine jewellery maker. We sat with her and learnt the art of jewelry making in a Swazi style and now we are helping her innovate with patterns and designs.
You can help support this traditional Swazi craft, and the artists this magic by heading to our online store now! Watch the video below this post for more details.
Alternatively, head back to the Swaziland page for more adventures!