Stepping back into
the future: our "Why"
How do you begin to tell a story that starts before living memory and yet is alive and contemporary at the same time? Call us mad, but this complex conundrum is the heart and soul of our vision.
of a term
Africa’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage is our "why". A mouthful of a term, we know. But mouthfuls are okay once you’ve had a chance to chew them over. Once you’ve done that, you’ll begin to appreciate all the different nuances, the flavours if you will, that make up whatever delightful morsel you’ve just sampled.
So let’s examine "intangible cultural heritage" alongside "tangible cultural heritage" — because tangible is easy, right? Picture yourself in an architectural masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, for instance. You wander around admiring the frescoes, touching one sculpture then another, feeling textures, and absorbing it all in the now — because tangible heritage engages the senses in a very physical and immediate way.
But behind the physical creations that you see, touch, smell, and even taste, are skills, traditions, knowledge, and stories passed down from one generation to the next. These les "concrete", more abstract and undeniably harder to define aspects, are what we call intangible cultural heritage. Together, and over time, they also form the "je ne sais quoi", the peculiarities, specific to the cultures from which they originate. And because culture does not remain static, heritage evolves — but in the best-case scenario, still remains rooted in the past yet relevant to the present.
A Doorway to
At SIWWAA we want to open doors to new experiences and let people in on the secret. We want our products and stories to give our customers the opportunity to see and feel the same things people have seen and felt for centuries but through a modern eye
We know that there is so much that is unknown, and even under-appreciated about Africa’s diverse cultural heritage, of which craftsmanship is merely a part, not the whole. We are also acutely aware that this is a legacy that needs to be preserved so that future generations can enjoy and learn from it. So we decided to eschew trends and short-lived fads and look to the past for inspiration for the future. In this way, this rich legacy can result in more than museum pieces stored behind glass walls to be seen rather than experienced. Instead, they can be made relevant for today’s men and women.