Palanca Soaps

For this month’s challenge soap makers were challenged to create a soap that best described where they are from or live. I decided to create a soap that connected several unique items from my country of origin, Angola and the country I now live in, Nigeria.

The chosen concept was to create a semi-rimmed soap with a baobab fruit soap in the middle. The inspiration for the rim was the Angolan flag and the samacaca fabric which has 3 colors (red, black, and yellow) in common with the flag. The samacaca fabric is one of the traditional fabrics used by the Mumuila and Mucubal tribes in the southern part of Angola.

The soap core was made primarily with baobab fruit juice. The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), grows in most parts of Angola. The fruit is much loved by Angolans and consumed in the form of juice, purees, as sorbets or eaten raw.

I included cocoa butter and shea butter sourced from Nigeria. The essential oil scent of choice was lemongrass, a tea very much appreciated by Angolans.

Finally, I decorated the soap with the silhouette of the (Black) Giant Black Sable antelope (Hippotragus niger variani). This antelope is quite rare and is endemic to the northern part of Angola, in the Malange province. This animal was once thought to be extinct as a result of decades of civil war in the region, a research team found the antelopes alive and well about 11 years ago. This antelope is a national symbol and has been adopted as an emblem in the logo of the national airline and several other companies.

Below are several of the photos of the preparation of the soap. Please learn more about Angola by searching on Google and Wikipedia the following: Angola, Luanda, Huila, Malanje, Kizomba, Giant sable Antelope, African baobab tree, Mucubal, Mumuila, Samacaca, TAAG airlines.

‘Obrigada!’ (That is ‘thank you’ in Portuguese)

Inspiration Photos:

 

Flag of the Republic of Angola
Flag of the Republic of Angola

 

The "samacaca" fabric.
The “samacaca” fabric.

 

Male Giant Sable antelope. Photo by Misososafrica Blog
Male Giant Sable antelope. Photo by Misososafrica Blog
Photo by Ferdinand Reus.
Baobab tree. Photo by Ferdinand Reus.

Preparation of the baobab fruit juice:

Baobab fruit.

Baobab fruit seeds and fibers left behind after the rest of the fruit is boiled.
Baobab fruit seeds and fibers left behind after the rest of the fruit is boiled.

The “Palanca” soap:

Antelope mold preparation.

Antelope mold preparation.

Palanca soap rim.
Palanca soap rim.
Inserting the antelopes.
Inserting the antelopes.

 

Palanca Soaps

Palanca Soaps

Palanca Soaps

Palanca Soaps

Palanca Soaps

 

Work by: Preciosa Fancony-Babatope

 

15 thoughts on “Palanca Soaps

  1. I love the info you shared about Angola! The Antelope are beautiful, and I have always been fascinated by the size of the Baobab trees. I love your soap design ~ it turned out really nice! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much. There is so much more to talk about Angola, but I had to keep my post brief😁.
      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my post😊

  2. This is completely fascinating to me, Preciosa!! Your soap is the perfect tribute to your country and I loved learning about the various ingredients you included. How on earth did you create the antelopes on top? Are they all carved by hand? They are magnificent!

    1. Hi Amy! Thank you for your comment. To answer your questions I added a few more photos. I had to make a silicone mold for the antelope heads and used “MP” soap to make the antelope heads.

  3. Preciosa, thank you for sharing your beautiful soap and all of the truly interesting facts about where you live! I think this is my favorite of all the challenges so far because we get to learn so much about other places and a little more about our fellow Challenge Club soapmakers! Your soap is fabulous, great job! (PS – what did you use to carve the Antelope for the mold?)

    1. Hi Debi. Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. I’ve learned more about some locations, like Colorado, through this challenge.
      I created my own silicone mold for the antelope heads. Poured MP and voilá.

  4. I agree with Debi – have learned SO much about our fellow (lady?) soap makers through this challenge – absolutely fascinating! Love how you managed to combine so many different elements!

    1. Hi Shaman,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, lady :-D. Sometimes it is hard to place a gender on a foreign name :-). I think this has been the best challenge so far, but also very hard because I wanted to vote for more than 3 soaps… all so different and beautiful at the same time. It’s a good way to celebrate diversity.

  5. Very nice your soap turned out great 🙂. I enjoyed reading about Angola. Thank you so much for sharing the information!

  6. What a fascinating read !! Gorgeous soap as well 🙂 you have a wonderful name , I love the antelopes on the top of the soap.

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