Friday, February 12, 2016

The True Size of Africa

At Baskets of Africa, we represent weavers from several countries throughout the continent. Our Bolga baskets come from Ghana, in West Africa; we have an amazing collection of baskets from Botswana, in the lush delta of Southern Africa; and many of our products come from Zululand in South Africa. These products are are very different because these places are very far away from each other, with very different climates and traditions. Africa is HUGE, and it is not easy to grasp just how large it is.

All of China, the lower 48 United States, and most of Europe would easily fit inside Africa. This is one of the all time best maps to illustrate how large Africa really is.

In my 25 years of experience talking with people about Africa, one of the greatest misconceptions is that Africa is a country with states in it rather than a continent full of countries. Many people don't really seem to grasp how extremely large and diverse Africa is in geographical size, but also in culture, history, language, art, and peoples.

I love this map Kai Krause put together in 2010 to illustrate the geographical size because, "...in everyday thinking, Africa is just about always hugely underestimated - even by college grads, off by factor of 2 or 3." The full article on Kai's website can be found here: http://kai.sub.blue/en/africa.html

He was writing about the size of Africa, but I find that the same statement can be applied to just about anything to do with Africa.

Click here for a larger, more complete image
Kai Krause True Size of Africa Map

Click here for a larger, more complete image

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