Features

Kitty Powell

Kitty Powell

Home Truths from Down Under It all started with a picture of a picture of a picture.  A beautiful painting – a reproduction – used to hang on a living room wall in my uncle’s (on mother’s side) London apartment.  It was of my grandmother. Entitled Kitty Powell, it was painted by the famous Australian artist, George Lambert, in 1907, I was told.  A sibling had inherited the picture, but kindly gave me a framed sepia photograph of it. This now…

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Stools Pillows Bowls -Utilitarian Art from Africa

Stools Pillows Bowls -Utilitarian Art from Africa

When we think of African tribal art, we think of figurative sculptures of astounding originality in their form and style rather than of everyday artifacts – what is known as utilitarian art. We imagine masks and statues imbued with supernatural powers which give a tribe its socio-religious identity. Although we use this distinction of figurative and utilitarian art, in fact African cultures do not see that difference. All the art of African traditional cultures is functional and part of daily…

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Leave these off your Packing List

Leave these off your Packing List

Seasoned travelers know that you can do without a lot and that to travel light is to travel smart, and this is where a practical packing list is important. When it comes to deciding what to pack for your travels abroad, you might find that the real question is what you need to leave OFF that packing list. There are many items you can leave behind because you can easily and cheaply buy them in your destination country. The wisest…

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How to do Thanksgiving in San Francisco

How to do Thanksgiving in San Francisco

Thanksgiving in the USA marks the beginning of a season of festivities and the annual family reunion. This emphasis on family and friends getting together in a spirit of gratitude makes it a quintessential and much-loved American holiday.                                Go ice skating at  Union Square Many San Francisco residents have come here from other places, and return to their families in other states and cities for…

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Air Fare Hacks for the Budget Traveler

Air Fare Hacks for the Budget Traveler

My international airfare was always my biggest cost items in my travel budget. Still, it has become a smaller dent in my overall costs since I learnt about all the airfare hacks. Here are some tips to help you travel for less. Pay less for your flight with these airfare hacks 1. NB NB NB  Be flexible about flight dates  I am not too choosy about the day of the week, even the month I travel.  If I can, I…

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My Trove of Travel Books

My Trove of Travel Books

This is a very eclectic list of books that do what I think travel books should, which is spark your curiosity, evoke feelings and awaken senses and make you want dig deeper. By travel books, I include history, fiction, memoir, reportage, about journeys and places. How I chose my travel books list I am more interested in travel books or related genres that are about non-Western countries and regions. That’s an imprecise classification, but there aren’t any better. I will…

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Gule Wamkulu – the Great Dance of Malawi

Gule Wamkulu – the Great Dance of Malawi

“Akuluakulu ndi m’dambo mozimila moto” (The elders are rivers where fire is extinguished’). Chewa Proverb. “Gule Wamkulu‘s fantastical masks are on show this Spring at Loving|Monro Gallery in Santa Monica. Don’t miss these seldom-seen authentic masks that represent the many different characters and morality tales in the cosmology of the Chewa tribe of Malawi.” February 17 2016 – March 31 2016 The Great Matriarchal Bantu People Of Africa The Chewa are mainly known for their masks and their secret society…

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African Art Caravan

African Art Caravan

Johannesburg’s place in the trade and migration of African art objects In Chad, I am taken by camel to visit a man outside the village of Sahr.  I am in search of artifacts which I am told this man – a trader – might have.  As I get to his store, he walks toward me and greets me. ‘Hello, Mark!’ I am thousands of kilometers from home, but a man I have never met before knows exactly who I am. …

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Hideaways in Cape Town

Hideaways in Cape Town

A visit to Cape Town is both an urban experience and an immersion in nature. It’s a unique urban national park – majestic, rugged mountains dominate an urban landscape. Beyond enclaves of moonlit beaches are ancient forests and the unique ‘fynbos’, one of the world’s six floral kingdoms. Well-marked hiking trails are everywhere, offering breathtaking walks as well as more rugged enterprises such as kloofing, which involves the ascent of ancient ravines carved out of a mountain-side by torrential rivers….

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