Hamedi Athumani




“When I have a piece of wood I never know what I am going to get out of it. I just start and slowly the wood teaches me what it wants to be.  I work as long as I feel that the figure, which can develop itself under my hands, is happy.  Sometimes I dream of this sculpture and I feel and know more about it.“


                 amedi was born in 1955 in the North Eastern Tanzanian.  He belongs to the Wazigua people. Leaving school at the age of thirteen Hamedi learned to carve from his father - a carver, farmer and herbalist.   

Hamedi’s work tells of the shetanis that influence people and the environment. These shetanis appear friendly and often serve as helpers to traditional healers. In his work he holds a mirror up to us demonstrating how the soul and body are united.  He believes the first step in healing is to develop understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

Mr Athumasni’s work has been in the Biannual exhibition in Dar es Saalam a number of times, along with regional shows along the coast, including Words & Ebony show in 2003.

Athumani is a story teller.  Each work shares a legend  uniquely suited for the commission or owner.  His work is a sophisticated fusion - Shitani and stylised realism.  Below we feature seven works from a body of over twenty.
Once upon a time a German traveller, a cleaver child really, was learning mathematics and similar matters when he decided early on to join the armed services after completing school.  After soldering for some time he considered his future upon receiving a dream.  He dreamt that he was about to loose his learning but if applied he would be come wealthy like others he had encountered. 

Diwalo selected Africa as a location to apply his training and attain wealth. After traveling a great while he landed in Tanganyika to cultivate coffee. We received Diwalo’s people with great honor and love, and live with each other with peace. We too inherited sustainable wealth from Chanyendo through knowledge. Thank you.

The Mpingo African Blackwood (ebony) tree has long been over-harvested across the continent to obtain its dark, lustrous heartwood.  The wood is greatly

prized by carvers.  

Although African Blackwood is still relatively abundant in South-East Tanzania, illegal logging is widespread, and very poor, forest-dependent communities generally receive little benefit from logging on the land around their villages.

According to Tanzania law sellers of Ebony Wood require:

  1. BulletCertified source of Mpingo

  2. BulletTrader and Dealer in Forestry Produce Registration

Gibb’s Farm Makonde carvings are ethically produced and sold.

The Sanaa Art Gallery is registered, the wood certified.  Much of the merchandise available in the Gibb’s Farm gift shop supports the community. 

Most sellers of hard woods and Makonde carvings in our area are not registered nor is their ebony wood certified.  Please help us set the example of responsibility

and sustainability.

Medium: Mpingo African Blackwood
Each work is original
size: from  15 to 50 cm tall
Commission for Deutch Househttp://www.room.harmonyproject.info/cottages/Deutsch.htmlshapeimage_11_link_0



Once upon the time there were people with a peculiar eyes malady.  At the same time their children were suffer from chicken pox.  The children were sleeping almost the whole day through.  Because of their concern for their children to rest and recover, parents were reluctant to wake the children.
Meanwhile, in the village of Tindisolo there is an old story about a particular bird that dropped green leaves on every dwelling in the village once carefully plucked from a very old and stately tree.  An elderly and wise man by the name Huho slept. Once in a deep sleep he had a dream that a chicken was eating his legs. In his dream he was told that the green leaves dropped by the particular bird was a speedy remedy for the eye malady afflicting Tindisolo. He suddenly awoke to find a green leaf at his foot.  Somehow the leaf was scratching his foot – there were no chickens to be seen. With care he prepared medicine using the leaf and shared it with the Tindisolo children.  Today the malady has left the village and the wide-eyed children remain awake hearing this story from their parents.



Mount Sona
A butterfly flew to Mount Sona impressing greatly the mountain who welcomed her with love, “please live here”. The flowers of the mountain agreed and sharing one each - they planted a flowering tree in symbolic union.  The tree’s flowers begot music as wedding rings were exchanged. The community responded with strong economy and healthy families.  Today, travelers relish the peace and tranquility of the flora. The people of the mountain feel the butterfly and mountain within - it gives them strength.
Commission for Wedding Househttp://www.room.harmonyproject.info/cottages/Wedding.htmlshapeimage_21_link_0



Dondwa gives people courage, especially those who keep records of the past and all recent events. He found an attractive resting place so remarkable he marked it so that he would never forget. One day at this place a fisherman came walking along the shoreline. He voiced a name to each destination he paused at. By the time he reached the end he looked up and discovered a small island floating in front of him. The vision of the island remained with him during his return walk home. He had a deep thought about the island that he had seen. Separately, Mzee Kambwala started his search in the sea for the octopus -  a solemn source of food. On this day he was disappointed to find none. People relish dining on octopus. He tired from a day-long walk only to return the following day for another search whereupon he discovered the tasty octopus inhabited that particular remarkable area of Dondwa. He then .....
Commission for Writer’s Househttp://www.room.harmonyproject.info/cottages/Writers.htmlshapeimage_27_link_0



Once upon the time Bwinda passed through a forest and realized there was very little wildlife. He went down the valley to the river filled with swamp grass.  Bwinda set about to make a fish trap using the swampy grass to fashion a few nets.  Walking out of the forest valley he had the feeling he was being followed, looking about he realized it may not be so.  On his trail he notice droppings from the Pongo dikdik so he sit another trap, this time for a small mammal. In doing so he realized this place was teaming with wildlife.  Awaiting for his traps to snare he relished the pending dinner meal. He carved a rough mortar and pestle to later prepare his medicines and small ingredients.  As the evening drew near he returned to check his nets and snares. A Pongo was caught in the snare.  Bwinda quickly realized she was pregnant and released her.  His fish nets were teaming, he scooped up enough for dinner and headed for home to celebrate.
Commission for Writer’s Househttp://www.room.harmonyproject.info/cottages/Writers.htmlshapeimage_33_link_0



Buhe is a very colourful bird with a small flying range. Its attractive plumage causes people to easily take notice of its flight.  It is said that those who follow Buhe are met with a successful life.  Buhe is a very clever and careful creature.  If it is shown your love you will benefit and as you enjoy the success Buhe will also enjoy the same.  Through the ages it has become very wise and a holder of precious things.  Follow the Buhe and become rich in knowledge and successful in life.
Installation for Weaver’s House



Mubi is the creature that forces others to sing, before and during the rain. After the rain water floods and pools on the land, a chorus swells to envelope the land then stops. Its very low pitch signifies danger that the valleys are flooded, no one is allowed to walk through them. It is then that the sound maker Mumbi will suddenly stop upon hearding an object fall and crash somewhere into the valley, sometimes with a flash of light. The chorus rest follows immediately. Mumbi is a very good leader, the singers respect Mumbi.

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