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

 

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