Traditional Somali Aqal
Queen Victoria Gardens
Opposite National Gallery of Victoria View map
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Come and help weave an aqal: the Somali name for a hut, or a home. An aqal is a thatched structure that nomadic Somali people lived in as they moved around Somalia in search of greener pastures. Made from natural grasses and tree branches as well as recycled materials, it represents home, family, and togetherness. The Aqal is also a home built by the community and gifted to new families. Adorned with traditional handcrafted Somali weavings, these designs play a key role in preserving Somali history and cultural heritage as a craft handed down generation by generation.
Muhubo Sulieman is the head weaver of Qaymi Arts & Craft. A traditional Somali weaver, she grew up in Somalia where she taught herself to weave at a young age and went on to learn a variety of cultural weaving and sewing skills. She specialises in hand-weaving rugs, bags, wall decorations and even baskets. These allow her to showcase her traditional Somali craft to a wider audience while at the same time preserving her cultural heritage. These designs play a key role in Somali history as the only handmade craft that has been handed down through the generations.