The Simpsons: Out of Africa.

Where better to find artisans to carve the Simpsons than a continent most famous for fancifully distorted sculptures of the human head -- like the byeri head above? (The one on the left.) The BBC reports on skilled African artisans who are benefiting from an American cartoon few of them have ever seen:

Soapstone carving is a traditional craft passed down from generation to generation, and the Abagusii tribe is renowned for their carving prowess.

So when Twentieth Century Fox designated the Tabaka soapstone carvings as official Simpsons merchandise in July 2006, their lives improved overnight.

The Tabaka Classic Carvers are licensed to produce 12 models of the show's characters, and they are keen to expand their portfolio.

Pauline Kemunto and her husband work with the Simpsons team in Tabaka; he carves the figures and she smoothes the soapstone afterwards

"I don't know who they are," she says about the dysfunctional cartoon family.

"But I like them because I earn from them."

Via Mirabilis

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