Katenta Etienne is his name. Authentic African Masks is his game. His shop is really just a storage lock-up in Bujumbura, but it is full of absolute cultural treasures. He is located in a somewhat hidden part of the main craft market, but you really want to find him. I was amazed at the variety of both the types of masks as well as the different tribes/countries they originate from. Etienne (Stephen in English) is a really positive guy who was more than willing to patiently explain the details of each mask. One of the most fascinating is a sewn mask from the Democratic Republic of the Congo he is pictured with. This is a very elaborate hand-stitched chicken head. It is the most unique mask I have ever come across in my travels in Africa.
Etienne is a member of the A.A.V.O.A (Association Artistes et Vendeurs des Objets d’Art). I would suggest you save this tip to your ‘Custom Travel Guide’ here on VT which will allow you to print his details and photo if you wish to find him in the market. I highly recommend you look at authentic items before you see some of the mass-produced masks in the main market area. There are several other good ‘storage’ shops beside him, but they are a bit pushy.
The Novotel should be as good as it gets in the center of town. Unfortunately it has a reputation as...more
The local rating for this hotel is four star - I gave it a two star since service and some of the...more
B.P 1267 Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
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