Mozambique is known for its highly stylised woodcarvings and turned-wood items, as well as for its paintings and pottery (Nampula, Pemba, Maputo). Other crafts include jewellery (particularly silverwork), leatherwork and textiles.
Inhambane province is known for its baskets and Cabo Delgado for its attractive woven mats.
Some of the best silver artisanship in the region comes from Ibo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago. While the silver itself is often not of high quality, the craftsmanship is highly refined.
The colourful capulanas (sarongs) worn by women around their waist can be found at markets everywhere and make practical souvenirs – useful as tablecloths, wraps, wall hangings and more. Capulanas are more colourful in the north, where shades of yellow and orange dominate.
For Makonde woodcarvings, Pemba, Nampula and Maputo are the best places to start your search. The widest selection of sandalwood carvings is in Maputo.
When buying woodcarvings, remember that many of the pieces marketed as ebony may be simply blackened with shoe polish or dye. Rubbing the piece with a wet finger, or smelling it, should tip you off. Higher-quality pieces are those where more attention has been given to detail and craftsmanship.