Even though Big Markit is one of the more popular arts markets, The Lumley Arts and Craft market, situated along the Lumley beach road just behind the office of the National Tourist Board – is one of the largest arts and craft market in the country whic mostly stocks purely Sierra Leonean arts.
Founded about seven (7) years ago by indigenous Sierra Leonean women, the center’s main aim is to help promote Sierra Leonean culture and tradition through the caving and the reintroduction of ancient arts which are of valuable significance to the country heritage.
Over the years, the center has been making much impact and have been attracted several tourists visiting Sierra Leone. The center is located in such a unique place which gives tourists the opportunity to explore fine arts whenever they are in the country. But recently, the women in the center have been facing some difficulties in attracting buyers. Before, the center can be seen by anyone passing or driving along the Lumley beach road but now the center has been hidden the newly constructed office of the National Tourist Board right in front of the Arts and Craft market which makes it completely invisible from the road. Sometimes, except for those who knew of its existence or those curious of reading road sign posts, one will never know of its existence. According to the Chairman of the Lumley Arts and Craft Center Jenneh Lahai, business has been very slow since the construction of the National Tourist Board’s office in front of them. Ironic.
Despite the challenges faced by women in the center, it still continues to produce some of the best arts in the country. Every day, while the men busy themselves caving images, the women are busy both in and out of the center exhibiting beautiful Sierra Leonean arts. The center remains one of the best places to visit if one is looking for unique Sierra Leonean artifacts.