Wamunyu Handicraft Society
The Wamunyu Handcraft Society is tucked behind a decorated gate along the Machakos – Kituii Road in Kenya. Under roofed sheds sit many carvers each at their own station carving their favorite wooden item Behind the sheds is a tree nursery to replace what they have taken.
On the other side of the parking lot is a large showroom where the many items carved are kept for sale either wholesale or retail.
This area is the homeland of the Kamba Tribe of Keya. They are very well known for their carving skill. Mostly a male craft, women are entering the field and have always been found in the finishing department.
Their website http://wamunyuhandcraftsociety.com states:
History has it that they learned carving from the Makonde, a tribe of gifted carvers from Tanzania. During the First World War, Mutisya Munge, a soldier for the British colonial army, learned the art of wood carving from the Makonde. On his return to Wamunyu in Ukambani, Mutisya continued to carve and invent new designs. He shared his knowledge with his family and some friends who took to carving as work .He later died in 1927.
The WAMUNYU HANDCRAFT SOCIETY was formed in the year 1965 with the main aim of marketing Kenya’s image abroad through curios that depict the country’s environment. The 2060 – member strong Wamunyu handcraft society boasts of the most talented wood carvers in East and Central Africa.