Kisii Stone, also called “Soap Stone”, is mined using shovels,crowbars, wedges, and hammers, in and around the village of Tabaka in south western Kenya. The term kisii is taken from the regional capital of Kisii, which is also the local language spoken by the Gussi tribe, who are the main inhabitants.
Each piece of stone is carved using hand tools such as machetes, saws, adzes, and knives. After carving, the pieces are sanded and then dyed before the designers take over and paint or carve patterns into the stone.
The last process is polishing which is done with floor or shoe polish, and shredded sisal rope.
The sales of these carvings bring valuable employment to the area where most households are involved in some form of the production process.