A lot of people may be put off by the idea of an "African Tarot Deck," thinking that it must involve voudou, arcane tribal symbolism, or just be for black people. Well, I'm a black woman who has shown this deck to white friends -- this deck is completely accessible.
The "African Tarot: Journey into the Self" is a teeny little deck based on Rider-Waite symbology. It also looks like it was drawn by a child with talent -- the sort of art that you'd *want* to put on your fridge. The people are brown and have kinky hair, and they live in an African village -- after that, and a few liberties with the suit cards -- it's a standard deck.
The suits, by the way, are traditionally named. However, the art shows Swords as spears, Cups as gourds and Pentacles as coins or disks. The art is rich and perhaps a tad dark for some, perhaps it's best not to read this one in low light -- but then, it's far from a gothic deck. The back design is equally darling -- two colorful tortoises in the sun, reversed from each other so you can see one of them upright as long as you're holding the card lengthwise. According to the South African author, the Shangaan culture considers this animal a symbol of "the slow coming of justice" -- appropraite enough considering its country of origin.
The cards are approximately 3" x 2.5" and covered with what I assume is a standard, slick coating. This makes them easy to shuffle, but I have a habit of dropping some cards if I'm just going through them while holding them in my hands.
I even find the package a total keeper: a brown, corregated cardboard box with descriptive cards glued to the back and front. A rubberband to keep the box closed and you could probably drop this deck into your backpack and only have the box take damage. However, the box is so cute, why would you want to?
The little booklet inside confirms the image that this is a feel-good deck -- many of the interpretations are positive or at least encouraging of growth. So, while this isn't an all-ocassion deck, I certainly think it's worth a look!