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Soapstone Kenya Diorama Nativity Scene

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Kisii soapstone is one of the most well-known artforms from East Africa.  A hand-carved piece of art from the Kisii region of Kenya is a real treasure.  Soapstone is mined from the Tabaka Hills and then carved by talented artisans into many designs that are beautiful and some functional.  The soapstone from the Tabaka Hills come in a range of colors from white to pink to grey.  As it is crafted, it goes through multiple stages of sanding and waxing which gives the soapstone a satiny Hand-carved from Kisii soapstone by African artisans, this unique nativity scene is artfully displayed within a beautifully carved grey, stone arch .  The 9-piece set is affixed to the curved backdrop.  

Product Features:

  • The scene depicts: Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, 3 Wisemen, Angel, Shepherd, and three animals
  • Measures approximately : 5 x 3 x 6.5 inches
  • Due to the handmade nature, actual size of each piece will vary slightly. 
  • Soapstone is a soft stone, making it easy to carve into many forms. Handle with care to avoid breakage. 
  • Each piece has gone through multiple stages of sanding and waxing, giving the soapstone a satiny finish.

Because a variety of communities carve the statue, expect designs variations and color variation in the natural stone.   ​​

Story Behind the Art:

Each sculpture is artfully hand-carved from a single piece of Kisii soapstone, found only in the hills of southwestern Kenya. Mining the soapstone from surface hills is a labor-intensive process, using little to no machinery. Laborers work with shovels, picks, axes and machetes to carve out large soapstone chucks, which are then brought to the workshop for carving and finishing.  The details carved into the stone are truly amazing.  Each etching carved by hand. 

Fair Trade:

  • Socially responsible products that empower consumers to purchase according to their values and help alleviate global poverty.
  • Fair Trade is an alternative business model that values safe workplaces, fair wages and community investment.



Meet the Maker: smolart
Our Soapstone is carved by the artists of SMOLArt a group of artists who live in the rural village of Tabaka, Kenya, the heart of... read more