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Virginia Furniture with Ethiopian Roots

In a tiny town in rural Virginia, contemporary African furniture is being redefined by designer Jomo Tariku.  Born in Kenya and raised in Ethiopia, the trained industrial designer creates furniture inspired by his upbringing in East Africa.  In collaboration with woodworker, David Bonhoff, he creates museum-quality works of stunning simplicity that speak to the best of African design traditions. Born in Kenya and raised in Ethiopia, Tariku came to the United States in 1987. After studying  industrial design at the University of Kansas, he eventually moved to the suburbs of D.C., where he works as a data scientist. He based his earliest furniture designs on the three-legged Jimma stools of Ethiopia that he remembered from childhood. All of his pieces tie back to the African diaspora in some way, and many center on his East African upbringing.