Scientific Name: Dalbergia Melanoxylon
African Name: Mpingo
English Name: African Blackwood
Commonly Known Name: EBONY
Ebony is an exceptionally hard and beautiful wood, found in the Sahara desert regions of Africa.
Its exceptional density not only makes it very heavy, but also gives it an incomparable sheen when polished.
The Ebony is extremely expensive, ranging in $50+ per square foot. Compare this to the finest
American black walnut which costs less than 1/10 the price of blackwood.
Makonde carving is probably the best known art work produced in Tanzania, East Africa. This art is produced by the Makonde
people of southern Tanzania, and their material of choice is African blackwood, or mpingo. Their work is both
traditional and contemporary, reflecting a tribal past as well as modern response to urban life. They utilize
their tribal myths and stories as inspiration for the masterful work.