The Lumley arts and crafts market is very similar to Big Market in town, but smaller and more tranquil. It is located in Aberdeen and has a collection of batiks, woodcarvings, woven baskets, country cloth, necklaces and traditional masks. They are made in the workshop just behind the market, or, in case of the masks, bought in the provinces.
The market is run by a community of craftsmen and women. They make minimal profit off their goods, which is one of the reasons why their method of selling can come across as aggressive. So when the sellers tug your shirt or keep on trying to get you to see their store, bear in mind that they are probably supporting large families off the little sales they make.
At the arts and crafts market you can do more than just buy handmade paraphernalia. You can also learn how to do these crafts. Janet, the lady who does batik and tie dye, can organize one or two afternoons where you can design your own batik and take it home when it’s finished. The cost is about 500.000le including materials (price is negotiable).
Lastly, there is also a tailor at the arts and crafts market. That means that you can get an outfit made with the fabrics that you can buy in the market. Note that it takes some time for the tailor to finish the clothes and that is almost always need for a second fitting.
All in all, the arts and crafts market is an excellent place to visit if you want to buy some traditional Sierra Leonean items.
Location: Kallon Drive, Aberdeen, Freetown
Opening hours: open daily from 8am to 7pm
Esther Kamara is a Dutch-Sierra Leonean that was born and raised in Amsterdam. After finishing her bachelor Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam she moved to Freetown, where she now works as a freelance writer and artist manager. Her brainchildren are otherworldly short stories and peculiar drawings of non-existing characters.
Her contributions to the blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Visit Sierra Leone. Although she tried to be as accurate as possible, these observations are always momentarily and therefore subject to change.