Soapstone

Carved into statues, vases, bowls, and more, African soapstone is one of the most well-known handicrafts from the Western part of Kenya. Soapstone is one of the softest known minerals, making it easy to carve. While it can be found all over the world, Kenyan soapstone is considered unique and naturally comes in all different colors. White and pink colored soapstone is softer and easier to work with, while black soapstone is the hardest.

The soapstone is mined from quarries located in the county’s fertile Tabaka Hills. It is a labor-intensive process that uses little to no machinery. Instead, miners work with shovels, picks, axels, and machetes to dig out large soapstone chunks.