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Ibrahim El-Salahi Pain Relief at The Saatchi Gallery, London

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Our literacy program coordinator, Mrs. Adila Osman, sitting inside a howdaj or Sudanese camel-drawn litter, also used adorned for weddings, at Burri Botanical Gardens Annual Flower Festival, Khartoum. 


Scroll down to end of post to read about this red leather and cowrie shell artifact and to see more from the Burri Flower Festival. 

Below, more examples from the open-air exhibition celebrating the artisan heritage of nomadic eastern and western Sudanese peoples. 


Baskets and rope work suspended to preserve perishable contents, ornamental camel halters studded with cowrie shells, woven palm fibre mats used as tent hangings; and food covers embellished with Quranic text and used to adorn dwellings. 

See Sudan Ethnographic Museum FB Page for more details on some of the artifacts shown in this blogpost. A sample below:



This is a literacy post for Women’s Education Partnership.  See At a Glance  and Facts and Figures to learn more about our mission and impact.


80% of our literacy participants have fled hardship and danger in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains, Kordofan,  to make new lives in Khartoum. Many bring with them the artisan skills of their homelands and are keen to adapt them to the urban realities of Khartoum so as to earn enough to support their families, often in desperate circumstances.    

This blogpost is dedicated to the work of our literacy trainers in developing income generation opportunities for our literacy participants and celebrates the handicraft skills of our 2019 literacy graduates. 

Scroll down to see our handicrafts exhibitions.


Our literacy program collaborates with handicraft professionals to provide our participants with skills in knitting, crochet, weaving and basketwork as part of the program’s income generation focus. 

See Weaving Brighter Futures to learn more


Traditional western Sudanese tabaga or food covers woven by our participants into handbags, suspended from the rafters of our literacy centre at Jebel Aulia. 


Palm fibre mats used by women for scented smoke baths – more in coming posts on  Sudanese perfumes and scents.  See Anointing in Robes of Red and Gold for more on the wedding rituals unique to Sudan. 


This is a literacy post for Women’s Education Partnership.  See At a Glance  and Facts and Figures to learn more about our mission and the impact we have.

Please consider giving to our life-changing work. Just click on the link below to donate quickly and securely:

 Virgin Money Giving


 Exhibitions of Our Participants’ Handicrafts, November 2019 


Above, examples of some of our literacy circles’ handicrafts work from last year, with items for sale, displayed in our Khartoum office.  Below, one of our participants‘ handbags, made out of old grain and sugar sacks, with leather trimming. 


Below, ornamental ceramic coffee set and handbag.


Below, ornamental vases, together with knitted and woven bags.

Visit Weaving Brighter Futures to see photos documenting how the vases are made and to learn more about Sudanese basketry and weaving. 




Above, traditional red scented woods and incense containers. Below, display of vases and woven bags hanging from the rafters of our literacy centre at Jebel Aulia. 


Below, our coordinator, together with an inspector from Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission reviewing our participants’ work on their graduation from their 2-year REFLECT development through literacy program. 


Below, tent and wall hangings from western Sudanese tribes, exhibited at the Burri Botanical Gardens Flower Festival.  

Learn more about these objects at Sudan Ethnographic Museum FB Page


Below, the doorway on to the exhibition of handcrafts, including crocheted mats, undergarments and babies’ clothes, together with biscuits and other confectionary for sale at Dar aSsalaam literacy centre, in November last year. 



Below, literacy graduates from Hajj Jusif literacy circle celebrate, holding up some of the bags they have made, decorated with traditional beadwork. Each bag represents five to six hours’ work. Our literacy program aims to empower women economically. 

See more in Weaving Brighter Futures



Beaded clutch bag with two compartments. made by our participants.

Below, traditional beadwork – personal collection   



 More from Burri Botanical Gardens Flower Festival 

Below, leather and cowrie shell camel ornaments, a leather talisman known as a hijab containing sacred protective verses and a container used by nomadic tribes for carrying liquid butter. My thanks to Michael Asher for this information.

Michael Asher Explorer, Author and Deep Ecologist



Above, stringing Sudanese beds, stools strung with hide and a “bukhsa”; the large gourd suspended from a tripod and which is used for churning butter and cheese. 

Details on the piece below will be added next week. My thanks to Michael Asher and Ibrahim A Mohammed for their kind help in researching this. 


This is a literacy post for Women’s Education Partnership.  See At a Glance  and Facts and Figures to learn more about our mission and the impact we have. See too Literacy Changes Lives

Please consider giving to our life-changing work. Just click on the link below to donate quickly and securely:

 Virgin Money Giving




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