From traditional to modern arts and crafts

Coconut Art was developed on the island of Matemo, and although no longer practised there, it has spread as an art form throughout Mozambique. Various items are created out of coconut shells which are shaped and polished by hand. On Ibo, this craft was developed by Assane Sumaila. Assane lives in a house known as the ‘House of Shells’ where he turned one of his rooms into a shop, open to tourists all year round. Prices vary depending on the size and complexity of the product, from 10 MTn for a button to 500 MTn for a turtle. Mr Sumaila can be commissioned directly and depending on the project can take as little as a few hours to complete your piece of art.

Makonde art arrived on Ibo via a group of six Makkonds who came to the island with the Aga Khan Foundation. In 2009, they decided to settle here, and created an association dedicated to this art form, located in the old Portuguese fortress in the Cemento neighbourhood. The practice involves sculpting ebony wood using saws, axe, stones and chisels to create intricate Makonde art work and jewellery. It takes between two weeks and one month to create each item. The price ranges from 5,000 MTn to 150 MTn. The shop is open all year round.


Flower Art originated in Brazil, and came to Ibo via the Aga Khan Foundation who brought two Brazilians to the islands to teach this technique to local women. In 2005, with their first profits, the Nadjumulia group managed to buy a house, known today as the florists’ house, where they work this technique full time. You can visit the house and see them at work, learn about the techniques used, and buy their creations. For bespoke items, one to two hours is needed. Prices range between 150MTn and 250 MTn.

Silversmith art is known thought to have originated in India and specifically in Goa and arrived in Ibo directly from there since Ibo was once home to a significant Indian population. It was initially practised by individuals, until 1970 when the local administrator recognised its value as a craft and livelihood. He bought the tools required, and silver for each artisan, and so began Ibo’s jewellery trade. The administrator has since left, but the artisans continue to produce silverware today as part of 2 associations: the Tupendane Cooperative, composed of 25 members located in the Fortaleza, and the Modern Ourivesaria, located in the Rituto district.
It can take between 5 days and a week to make a piece of jewellery, and the price ranges from 25,000 MTn to 200 MTn. The associations are open for purchases and to view their craft being practised from 7am to 3pm every day.


Recycled art was brought to Quirimba by the AMA association which offered training opportunities to volunteers, providing cultural exchanges between Quirimba, Pemba, Montepuez and Ibo. The 7 volunteers began work in 2013 and founded a Tikuikuta association.Their workshop is in the Kuminazi district of Quirimba island, at the home of Selemane Malique. Prices range from 50MTn to 300MTn.



Saakata is a handicrafts shop in Ibo Town which sells produce made by local men and women, from beautiful clothing made from capulanas, to key rings and jewellery made from recycled produce. They can also make you a bespoke item of clothing if you request it in advance. They have a small cafe in a lovely garden overlooking the ocean where you can try Ibo coffee or have a tasty ice cream. Visit the Facebook Page