Why did we name our gallery Zanzibar?

Good question. Zanzibar is actually an island off the east coast of Africa and the country of Tanzania which it is officially a part of. Today Zanzibar (and its northern island neighbor, Pemba) are known for tourism and beaches as well as its old stone town.

For thousands of years Zanzibar has been a trading center for spices, wood, dried fish, salt – just about everything you can imagine. Arabs, Persians, West Indians, Chinese and even Europeans (Portuguese especially) have traded here for hundreds of years. While the spices, especially cloves, were locally grown, most of the other items traded for were from other places. The coastal Swahili language, in part a trading language, evolved here.

Thus Zanzibar was more of a trading Mecca – where one could find things from many different lands – thus we named our gallery Zanzibar since we currently have items from over 100 different countries (and while we have stuff from Tanzania, we don’t actually have anything from Zanzibar!)