Eco-friendly Egyptian souvenirs
Egypt is one of the oldest and most fascinating civilizations in human history.
The country on the northeast corner of the African continent is home to one of the most recognizable monuments from the ancient world-the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Apart from the man-made pyramids and many other impressive monuments, the River Nile is another site that intrigues visitors.
Whether it is the longest river or not, I will not get into that, but one thing which can be said is its blessings on the people of Egypt.
Right from ancient times to now, people have used the natural resources of the Nile River to their advantage.
They could use the water and fertile soil to grow different crops for food and various other products, many of which are still used by Egyptians — cotton to papyrus, spices to palm.
If you plan to travel to this ancient county, buy these products as a souvenir, gift, or personal use. The use of natural ingredients makes these Egyptian souvenirs planet-friendly.
Papyrus Paintings Replica
Papyrus is the world’s earliest example of paper. The Papyrus plants were extensively cultivated in the river Nile’s delta during the ancient Egyptian period, and they used the center part of the plant to make paper. They used this Papyrus paper to create Egyptian paintings, temple drawings, manuscripts, and art.
In modern times, Papyrus paper is only used to make a range of souvenirs like painting replicas, small postcards, and art pieces.
Palm leaf baskets
Palm leaf baskets made from the dried leaves of the date palm tree date back to Ancient Egypt. The strips of the dried leaves are lined up and intricately woven to give a shape of a basket.
These eco-friendly baskets are perfect Egyptian souvenirs available at a street vendor, local market shop, or a fancy boutique store.
Traditional Egypt’s metal lanterns, or fanoos, are part of its ancient culture and are extremely unique. These lanterns are typically made of copper and colored glass with a base to hold the candle or a light. The light emanating from the intricate patterns created on the lanterns cast shimmering patterns on the walls.
The lanterns are still used during festivals or other celebrations and are readily available in the local markets to be bought as authentic Egyptian souvenirs.
Egypt is also known for its perfumes, as it has a rich history of essential oil production. The earthy, musty smell of high-quality oils and fragrances is available in the local markets.
The perfumes and the ornate bottles they are poured into make buying Perfumes a great souvenir.
Ancient Egyptians wore ornaments with scarab beetles (dung beetles), symbolizing renewal, rebirth, and the sun god Ra. The representation of the Scarab bottle is available in different sizes, colors, and materials woven into necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and jewelry.
Scarabs range from pricier models made of stone to tiny scarabs sold individually.
If you visit India, you might want to buy a mini Taj Mahal, and similarly, if you go to France, you will be interested in purchasing a mini Eiffel Tower.
In the same breadth, a visit to Egypt might be incomplete if you don’t get a mini Pyramid as a souvenir.
Mini pyramids are one of the most popular souvenirs in Egypt that you can get. To ensure your mini pyramid is eco-friendly, buy the ones made with Albbaster and stone.
Replicas of Egyptian Gods are the most common type of souvenir at every souvenir shop and market in Egypt. Like mini Pyramids, buy replicas of Egyptian gods made from stone, alabaster, or other eco-friendly materials.
Apart from the Scarab beetle, other common statues you can consider buying are -
- Sphinx is a mythological creature with a lion’s body and a human head built very close to the Great Pyramids.
- Bastet, an ancient Egyptian goddess worshiped as a lioness and later a cat and believed to protect homes from evil.
- Anubis, an ancient Egyptian god of funerary practices, is represented by a figure of a man with the head of a jackal.
- Hathor, an ancient Egyptian goddess of the sky, women, fertility, and love.
Egyptian cotton is considered one of the best quality fabrics worldwide as it is lightweight and soft. Egypt’s cotton fibers are considered the best because of their length, strength, and softness.
The most popular products made with Egypt cotton sold in the market are bed sheets, bed covers, towels, and pillow covers. The bed sheets are known to keep their cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
However, Egyptian cotton is difficult to find in Egypt as top-quality cotton is either exported or sold at expensive stores. The local tourist markets don’t usually sell top-quality cotton.
These traditional hats are traditionally worn by people in the Nubian region near Aswan. Many tourists buy and wear these hats while they enjoy Egypt sightseeing. The colorful hat is also a great souvenir.
Alabaster is a soft stone usually lightly colored, translucent, and found in deserts.
Due to the soft nature of the rock, they have been used throughout ancient Egyptian history for carving decorative artifacts, figurines, and vases. The translucent property allows light to pass through if you put a candle or light bulb inside, making an artifact a stunning embellishment.
Alabaster factories are located all around Luxor, where craftsmen can be found working on the desert stone. Currently, Alabaster stones are carved into small decorative sculptures, ancient Egyptian gods or goddesses, copies of antiques, and vases. These Alabaster products are one of the favorite Egyptian souvenirs for many tourists.
Egyptian spices have an ancient connection as a few of them, like cumin, cinnamon, and anise, were used as a mummification preservative. It is not just for mummies; they also use them to flavor the dishes.
Many locally grown spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and anise can be found in large stacks in small shops.
In addition, you can buy hibiscus, which makes a refreshing drink in the summer and is excellent for cooling down and lowering blood pressure.
Shopping for Egyptian souvenirs is one of the best ways to discover the country. But we must buy souvenirs made by local artisans in Egypt that don’t use plastic.
Apart from the ones listed above, other souvenirs and gifts that might consider are camels made with cloths, scarves, traditional metal jewelry, replicas made with wood, rugs, etc.
Watch this video to glimpse eco-friendly souvenirs in Egypt.