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Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Ethiopian culture is rich with artistic expression and traditional handcraft skills. From precious religious artifacts to everyday utilitarian objects, the Ethiopian aesthetic reflects a culture endowed with a profound history and human ingenuity. More than 80 ethnic groups make up the Ethiopian population. Each preserves its identity through food, language, and colors and translates their distinct traditions into handcrafts unique to each culture.

Historically local artisans manufactured most of the essential items used in everyday life. From textiles to furniture and cookery to utensils, artisans were an indispensable part of the village economy. They used their skills to bring color and excitement to simple objects like decorating natural grass baskets with colorful beads and cowry shells. Today Ethiopian artisans still create works of art, whether it be a simple woven basket to keep their injera fresh or an elaborate silver cross used by Ethiopian Orthodox priests during their most sacred ceremonies.

Although many traditions are fading due to the influx of imported objects, Ethiopian artisans continue to create beautiful crafts, allowing visitors to take home a bit of this wonderful country.


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