Bringing East African Traditional Mozambican Arts To The World: Dathonga Designs
Startup Stories
Bringing East African Traditional Mozambican Arts To The World: Dathonga Designs
Mariam Abdullah
Mariam Abdullah
December 03, 2021
2 min

Dathonga was born from the African concept of honoring one’s past. Founded by Marcia Nangy in Tofo Beach, the brand was created in to blend modern designs with traditional artisan knowledge, The goal of Dathonga is to update Mozambican traditional crafts while preserving the skills and knowledge behind them. dathongadesigns 259785737 1545268479171528 5676700601880684949 n

Marcia is involved in all aspects of product development, from design to production process, supervising and ensuring the quality of all Dathonga Design branded products. Her goal is to help African artists have dignified work and be self-sustained, helping more women to create income for themselves through craft productions. dathongadesigns 247358428 637586120927676 8083332658078152186 n

She wants to sell Mozambican natural handmade crafts to the world, preserving traditional pieces and developing and sharing new and modern crafts. A native of Inhambane, the “Land of Good People”, Marcia Nangy was raised by her seamstress mother who nurtured her creative tendencies and her mechanic father who taught her to work hard and respect nature.

She is a mother of three, a business-owner, a designer, and a consultant on numerous projects in the craft sector. She finds inspiration for Dathonga Designs in all aspects of nature and human interaction. dathongadesigns 240702575 2623306357816105 5419715669833321899 n

Marcia’s natural curiosity and love of nature combined with her experience in rural development caused her to gravitate toward the creation of all-natural collections. Whether she is gardening or playing with her children, actively designing new products or training rural women, Marcia is always creating, always learning and always putting her touch on the world Using the bounty of the African wilds as inspiration, extending from coastal landscapes to African savannah, Dathonga creates truly unique and locally sourced products with one eye on style and comfort and the other on preserving the landscapes where the materials are harvested. dathongadesigns 239745441 357767686075312 1756206517424838303 n

Marcia says “We are elevating traditional techniques, developing the use of local resources, creating alternative income through the wisdom of the community, supporting the preservation of rural ecosystems and making sure that the benefits from these resources are shared equally among the people using them. The world moves at a faster pace than ever before, but here in Mozambique time has been kind. Our people still know how to work with nature, still remember how to use wood and manipulate fibers into beautiful and useful creations”. dathongadesigns 240664180 559457082152840 648959549247355203 n

The goals of Dathonga are both to support rural women and honor their time-honed skills, but also to give the forests a value that protects them for future generations. By purchasing a unique Dathonga item for your home, you’re choosing to support a rural artisan woman and preserve the African wild. You are also supporting a time-honored way of life for Mozambican families. Starting out with just three women, Dathonga has grown to include several others with the growth and demand for more products increased. Though starting had its problems Marcia continues to take it one day at a time head on solving each one step by step. Handmade from the finest natural woods and fibers using environmentally sustainable methods, dathongadesigns 149568161 909526293128719 2094451150286487218 n

Marcia counts Dathonga’s exhibition in Copenhagen Design Week as one of her greatest achievements. Marcia is a sincere environmentalist. She participates in all trainings, making sure that good harvesting practices are followed.

Dathonga works to join with the communities and use the raw materials easily available. Two or three times a year Marcia goes to the field herself with the ladies for the harvest of the raw materials. The heart of Dathonga Designs is that of a woman. It is the story of endurance, love, rebirth and freedom told through striking clashes of color and carefully accented raw woods and organic fibers

Shop: Instagram: Dathonga Designs

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Mariam Abdullah

Mariam Abdullah

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