Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan since the mid-1980’s. Abdul Wardak, owner, immigrated to the United States and made his home in the Chicago area for over twenty years. He found that not only did he find a passion for the handicrafts of his mother country, but that having this business allowed for a way to help artisans and traders in Afghanistan while increasing cultural awareness with his customers here in the United States.
A true nomad at heart, Abdul has had a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida for many years. Now Afghan Tribal Arts is moving towards an active web presence. We are using Etsy as our shopping cart and have a healthy inventory listed there, although it is a tiny fraction of our stock. The core of our business are the beads we bring in from Afghanistan. Hand-carved by artisans in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are unpolished gemstones mined in the region: lapis lazuli, jade, carnelian, onyx, malachite, and many more. However, years of bead shows has led to buying from other traders so we now also have great beads from Africa and other parts of Asia.
Afghan Tribal Arts has also invested a great deal into other hand-crafted traditions, both old and new: textiles, carpets, carvings, and metal work. On Etsy, we will list what is easiest to ship: the beads, tribal jewelry, and smaller textiles.
How to use this site: Images on the site may or may not be in stock. If you see something that you like, leave a comment on that page and we will respond there about availability. Check our Etsy shop to see what is there. If we have something similar to what you are looking for, we will list it there and you may choose to purchase it then. Clicking on any of the images below will take you to our shop. Make sure to check out the sections on the home page there for viewing within categories.
Wholesale: Our Etsy shop prices are about 30% above wholesale in order to pay for staff time in photographing and listing the items. Retailers and artists who have a tax id number may be eligible for a discounts on the Etsy shop. Contact us with your tax id number and any links you have on the internet for proof of business and we will issue a coupon for shopping on Etsy. Minimum order: $200 after the discount.
Sturee Tribal Village, located in Pendleton, South Carolina showcases some of the best tribal and vintage pieces in our inventory.
Afghan Tribal Arts is in the process of setting up a showroom and warehouse in downtown Paducah, Kentucky.
Rachel and Abdul, 2005
This site is maintained by Rachel Biel (Rayela Art) who is passionate about textiles and was a former partner with Abdul in a Chicago gallery, Dara Tribal Village. Any mistakes on this site are hers alone.