This Christmas in Africa Nativity is set in an African village. Mary and Joseph are gathered around Jesus in the shade of a hut and a palm tree. The Angel looks on prayerfully. A shepherd and his sheep approach the Holy Family and the Magi bring their gifts. In addition, the animal kingdom is also present. They comprise the African big five, lion, leopard, Rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo as well as a crocodile, giraffe, hippo, and zebra.
This nativity is made out of Muwanga wood and is finished with wood wax. The hut stands at a height of 9 inches and it can be dismantled. The tree is 10 inches, the giraffe is 7 inches and Joseph is 5.5 inches. The other figures are less than 4 inches tall.
This African Christmas carving by Van Nyasulu is made out of Muwanga wood which is known for its beautiful grains. The piece shows African people of different tribes bringing various gifts to the Holy family. Everything is carved by hand and polished to bring out its natural shine.
Van Nyasulu is from Nkhata-Bay, Malawi. He learned wood carving from his father, a renowned carver in Malawi from the seventies through the early nineties. He taught Van from the age of 6 until 14 when he passed away. Since then Van has developed his own style and made wood carving his full time job.
This Nativity was hand-carved in mahogany wood and stained black so as to give it an ebony appearance. Some of the figures are delicately carved and look very elegant. Others have a more unfinished and heavier appearance.