Kerdan Home: Handmade Wall Accessories Inspired by Upper Egypt
Based out of Dokki, Kerdan Home brings together two very different phenomena that have come to define shopping in Cairo – home delivery and drawing inspiration from classical Egyptian culture.
As one of the latest retailers to embrace the convenience of online shopping, Kerdan touches on the continuing popularity and celebration of authentic Egyptian design with a range of creative wall accessories based on the kerdan – a type of jewellery or accessory worn in Upper Egypt, but with a modern twist. To call it an accessory would be maybe doing it an injustice – these necklaces are often treated as family heirlooms that are passed down through generations.
Largely made out of wood, Kerdan Home’s primary product comes in a range of designs that, as mentioned, put a contemporary touch on the pieces without losing the heritage that they have come to embody.
One of the first pieces we spotted while browsing the Kerdan Home Facebook page was one of the closest to the traditional Kerdan, shaped like a crescent, with a row of carved triangles sitting above a row of embossed triangles in red and blue. Taking up a span of 50cm, this piece goes for 550LE.
Other pieces that caught our attention, meanwhile, moved further away from the traditional kerdan was made out of two main triangular pieces – rather than the crescent shape of the previous piece – that hang on several chains, with smaller triangular shapes in each of them, as well as hanging down from the bases with smaller chains. Despite being a little more complex in design, this piece goes for only 250LE.
Other designs include one that uses traditional iconography such as the palm-shaped Arabic hamsa symbol with the traditional symbol of the ‘evil eye’ in the centre. Hanging of the palm is smaller palms off of chains and the whole piece goes for 150LE. Other notable kerdans include ones that use a more simple, rectangular shape, while one of our favourite pieces had an almost Aztec or Mayan touch, using zigzag patterns alongside more triangles.
While some argue that the continuing use of traditional Egyptian culture in fashion and decor is superficial, we beg to differ. The value of ‘buying local’ is very real and with so much creativity surging through the veins of local designers and retailers these days, Kerdan Home is one such retailer that has, at least, presented something original. It’s a niche, yes, an acquired taste, maybe – but then all the best things are.