10 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya

Kenya boasts dozens of distinct qualities that help identify not only its culture and history, but also its unique identity that has made it one of the most preferred tourist destination in the entire African continent.

With 43 tribes living together peacefully, it isn’t a tough task to once in a while come across unique items and souvenirs that define different tribes.

Below we look at some of the unique items you rarely find elsewhere else apart from Kenya.

1. Kisii Soapstone Carvings

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kisii Soapstone Carvings

At Tabaka region of Kisii County lies the heart of soapstone carvings. Craftsmen in the region have made it their goal to use art to capture animals and plants, displaying the abundance of beauty and creativity that make the region an integral element of Kenyan economy.

2. Kazuri Beads

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kazuri Beads | Photo ©bucketlisttc.com

Kazuri beads are used to make colorful earnings, neckpieces and bracelets and are outsourced from the nomadic Maasai community. The beads have become part and parcel of Kenya’s tourism package. Each color symbolizes something to the Maasai people. Green symbolizes prosperity, red symbolizes courage, power and blood while black represents their African identity.

3. Ebony Carvings

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Ebony Carvings | Photo ©theculturetrip.com

The Akamba community are the ones renowned with making some of the most fascinating and beautiful ebony carvings. These carvings are so good that some take them as souvenirs while others get exported to different countries across the globe.

4. Kitengela Glass

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kitengela Glass | Photo ©kitengelaglassart.com

The brains behind this use recycled glass to make decorative home accessories, stained glass for windows as well as jewelry. Most of the glasses are crafted by artisans with special needs and are on display on different grounds and along major pathways in Nairobi.

5. Maasai Blankets

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Maasai Blankets | Photo ©deviantart.com

Made from soft cotton and wool, Maasai blankets are so unique that you can easily spot one from a large collection. It’s on longer used by the Maasai community alone as many Kenyans are becoming accustomed to using them especially during the cold weather.

6. Kenyan Wooden Masks

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kenyan Wooden Masks | Photo ©etsy.com

If you’d like to get a mask for aesthetic purposes then choosing a Kenyan wooden mask would be ideal. There’s no religious or spiritual attachment to any of these masks and are primarily a show of Kenyan craftsmanship and ingenuity.

7. Maasai Shields and Spears

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Maasai Shields and Spears

If you ever see someone with shields and spears in Kenya, it’s highly likely they are from the Maasai community or closely related communities. The shields are made from cured hide and painted with different designs. On the other hand, the spear is Maasai’s weapon of choice and they often carry one wherever they go. When you go to Maasai home you’re likely to find a spear embedded outside, a sign that they are home.

8. Kenyan Baskets

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kenyan Baskets | Photo ©craftingkenya.com

Most Kenyan communities make handwoven baskets. Some of them prefer to have their baskets in different colors, which makes them more beautiful compared to when they use just one color. Made of sisal, the baskets serve different purposes, including being used for grocery shopping or as a fashion piece. The inside has a fabric lining and has leather straps.

9. Kenyan Art

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Kenyan Art | Photo ©biznakenya.com

A large percentage of Kenyan communities have unique art that identifies them and also differentiates them. From example, Samburu tribe which reside in the northern part of Kenyan has different art compared to the likes of Mijikenda from the coastal part of Kenya.

10. Kiln-Fired Clay Ports

To sum up the list of unique items that you can buy in Kenya are the kiln-fired clay ports. Below are a few samples, some already painted while others in line to be painted.

9 Unique Items You Can Only Buy in Kenya
Clay Ports lined up for painting | Photo ©craftingkenya.com