TRAVEL LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL – Souvenirs & Gifts to Buy in the Maldives
Whether it’s an octopus, a whale shark or a manta ray, Oevaali Art Shop are certain to impress you with their diverse collection of eye-catching art pieces featuring Maldivian influences. This small but engaging little art shop showcases the awe-inspiring works of Raya, one of the four owners of the art shop as well as a host of pendants, notebooks and sketchbooks. All the paintings are finished with a protective coat of matte varnish and gallery wrapped canvas ready to hang.
Are you ready to retire your old phone covers and upgrade to something spesh? Get a unique Huvan Art phone case featuring wrap around Maldivian art designs by Mahy, a 26-year-old self-taught artist from the capital Malé. She creates work that focuses on the spiritual nature of Mandalas. Interestingly, she combines the stunning beauty of the nature of Maldives in her art, whether it is a spiraling flower, the cluster center of a coconut palm, she will bring out the magic and take pride for the end product. Take a sneak peek at her work on her Facebook page at Huvan Art.
Built in 1675, the ‘Munnaaru’ is the minaret of the Hukuru Miskiy (Malé Friday Mosque) and attracts a great number of travelers to Malé. It was used five times a day as the voice of the muezzin rang out, calling worshipers for prayers. Today it stands as a testament that signifies the originality of the Maldivians and its functions have been taken over by the new, taller minaret of the Islamic Center. This replica of the Munaaru will be a lovely ornament for your living-room and an embellishment that you will be proud to show your friends. Check out the Mavantha Products Facebook page for ordering and purchasing information.
This scarf is a tribute to the stunning beauty of the Maldivian seas. It evokes the ever-changing colors of the ocean and the glancing off the waves. With its understated border and powerful print, the design is full of depth and movement, whether it’s draped around the shoulders or nonchalantly knotted around a handbag strap. See Island Bazaar’s website for their complete product line.
The sands in the Maldives are white as the smiles of its natives, the fish swims happily in the warm Indian Ocean waters, the weather is a dream come true, and the sizzling rays of the sun wait to immerse you with their arms wide open. It is astounding that Maria is able to produce such astonishing array of work. Apart from nature, her imagery ranges from the representational to the abstract and sometimes a combination of the two. She is more specialized in decorating handmade dishes of clay with acrylic paints. Have a look at her collection on her Facebook page, Tropics by Maria.
Maldivian lacquer work or “Laajehun” in Maldivian language is used to represent the artistry of local craftsmanship. A piece of wood is sculpted by the craftsman’s desired form, before it is coated, layer over layer with colored lacquer, commonly red, yellow and black. This is also done on wood to conserve its quality for long periods and to prevent it from deteriorating in different weather conditions. With highly impressive designs and vibrant colors on wood imprinted objects such as pens, vases and jewelry boxes, today, this Maldivian tradition and technique has become flawless in decorating homes and buildings from great to wonderful. The young and talented MVLacquer team from the island of Thulhaadhoo has more souvenirs than to the lacquer pen on their website.
The first skin care and essential oils brand from the Maldives. “Kaashi Theyo”, with natural, organic coconut oil sourced from its beautiful islands, Kaashi Theyo has a wide range of products that reflects the ancient Maldivian tradition of holistic medicine & beauty, and each is meticulously designed to promote wellness & beauty both physically and emotionally. For more information visit their website at www.kaashi-theyo.com.
More than just a board game, MaldiPlay is a great source of both information and incredible photographs from Maldives. It’s a destination promotion board game, best described similar to a Monopoly board, played with two dice with numbers 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. The 21×21 inch square board along with 2 sets of cards one with 15 and the other with 24 cards is time based and depends on the speed of its players. Visit the Maldiplay website to learn more about this board game.
Design inspirations from the Maldivian writing script to patterns derived from the rich marine life on women’s swimwear to remind you that you are part of the ocean, funoas, an eco-friendly clothing brand concerned about responsible tourism and creating awareness about the vulnerabilities of the island nation and spreading its beauty. Boardshorts by funoas are incredibly soft for comfort in the waves, at the breakers and on the sand. Check out their complete collection at www.funoas.com.
So when you plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Maldives, keep an eye out for these beauties. If you’re spending money, you might as well invest in responsible tourism and wonderful mementos that will instantly send you back to happier days in Maldives.
Want to discover an original souvenir to take home, join us on any of our Male city walking tours
The above article was written by Ahmed Ijaz and was first published on his blog Island Logic on 30th November 2017.