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manyiwa's Blog

manyiwa's musings

Thoughts, ideas, sharing and educational blogs from us at manyiwa

Shea Butter Making Story

Shea butter’s journey from shea nut to butter is a beautiful undulating journey. A journey intertwined in the lives of several industrious women whose joy is found in bringing a decades old tradition to the world. Little Naa’s* mom woke her up at 4am in their little town in Tamale Ghana one day, to participate in the making of “nku” (shea butter in the local dialect).


As I watched the women make shea butter earlier this year, I wondered what the interesting fist-sized balls they were using for the fire were made of. I curiously followed the process from grinding all the way to the molten shea butter (all the while imagining the end result and the different kinds of whipped butter and body scrub concoctions I could make with this!) and still couldn’t figure out the origin of these balls.

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what is Shea Butter anyway?

There’s a lot of craze about Shea butter and rightfully so! If magic could be bottled and sold, it would be labeled Shea Butter.But before we get all excited let’s start with the basics. Shea butter made from the fruit of the shea tree, mainly found in West Africa. The largest shea butter producing countries include countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Mali. This tree has over the years, and from generation to generation, been harvested for everything from its leaves, bark and seeds and continues to feed, shade and employ hundreds and thousands of women in West African countries.
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