A Catalogue of Sorts

The best handmade copper trade bangles in Africa.

Mined and designed in South Africa. Traded in the deepest darkest wildest places.

Sofala Bangles

Our original collection of copper trade bangles. These bangles are available in three widths, narrow (about 6mm), medium (more or less 8mm), and wide (roughly 10mm).

This range is named after an ancient East African trading port where merchants and travellers wearing copper bangles exchanged ivory, gold, ambergris, and cloth on the southern shores of what was then known as the Sea of Zanj. Sofala was established in or around the 8th century and lay on the coast of present-day Mozambique, a one-hundred-and-seventy-hour walk (as recorded in 1531) from the gold mines and great capital of Munhumutapa. It was built on an island at the mouth of the Buzi River (Rio de Sofala on older maps) and is thought to have been the oldest harbour in southern Africa.

Mbizi Bangles

Our classic collection of twisted copper bangles, made with between 3 and 8 wires twisted together and around each other.

The word mbizi means zebra and the name is derived from the twisted stripes that pattern these designs.

Mbada Bangles

One of our most popular designs, these bangles are made with copper that we forge into wild spots; dappled designs that recall a time when African kingdoms traded spotted cat skins through Swahili towns.

Mbada means leopard in Karanga, the language spoken in the courts of Munhumutapa, one of the greatest of Africa’s ancient kingdoms.

Mvumba Bangles

Our collection of wildly twisted copper bangles that are as peculiarly twisted as the unusual animal after which they are named.

Mvumba means wildebeest in Karanga, and the designs are inspired by the tangled manes and dark bands that line the broad shoulders of these unmistakably distinctive African antelope.

Tsinde Bangles

Another classic collection that includes some of our most popular designs, these copper bangles are inspired by southeast Africa’s savanna grasslands and are named after one of its wilder grasses (tsinde) and strangest animals (pangolin).

Made in a similar fashion to the grass bangles woven by herdboys to pass the time while out in the veld protecting the cattle entrusted to their care, the difference between the two styles is that Tsinde bangles are round (like grass stems) while Pangolin designs are hammered flatter (like pangolin scales).

Want a bit of Africa on your arm?