Ali Lamu Bags are 100% handmade and heart-made in Lamu, a small island in Kenya.
These bags are all made from recycled dhow sail, known as "tanga". Wind, sun, rain, seawater and many years on the Indian Ocean have weathered these "tangas" into real pieces of art.
Ali Lamu uses a mix of old and new tanga (Dhow sail) to create uniquely painted bags.
The story behind Ali Lamu is of Daniela and Ali. Daniela Bateleur was born in Italy. After years of travelling throughout Africa, she arrived in Lamu, in the north east of Kenya. Walking along the beach one day she was approached by a fisherman by the name of Ali, in search of work. Unfortunately, she had nothing to offer him but during the course of their conversation she mentioned to him that she was looking for an old sail cloth that the local fishing dhows used, a Tanga. She felt those old sails were artworks on their own, created by the wind, the salt, the sun and the rain during the course of their ocean lives. The worn beige colouring of the sail was amazing, impossible to reproduce. It was the elements that would becomethe masters behind this artwork.
From here these two creative minds added paint, motifs and words and the Tanga’s were transformed into unique, hand crafted pieces. Other fisherman would join them, left jobless after the overfished waters of the areas failed to offer enough fruits to supply them with a living. These men and women were retrained in sewing, design and in the sourcing of the Tanga’s and the shells used in the beautiful creations.
Crafted on the Island of Lamu, Kenya
Handmade from vintage Tanga’s (100% cotton sail cloths)
Water resistant lining with inside zipped pocket
Cowrie Shell detailing
Size apx 33 x 11 x 22 cm
Care Instructions: Machine Wash 40 C
Please note, these beauties are made from vintage fabric and do contain markings. This is not a fault but the nature of the weathered Tanga’s used to construct the bags.