African Villagers Sold on the Simpsons

Tribe members market soapstone carvings of the cantankerous family
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 26, 2007 5:25 PM CDT
Characters from The Simpsons pose before the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie," Saturday, July 21, 2007 at the town's movie theater in Springfield, Vt. Vermont's Springfield beat out 13 other like-named...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Villagers in a remote Kenyan village are thrilled about tomorrow’s premiere of The Simpsons movie, but not because it’s playing in a theater near them. Most, in fact, have never even seen the TV show. But their soapstone busts of the cartoon characters have been declared official Simpsons merchandise, and business is booming, the BBC reports.

The carving craft has been passed down through several generations of the Abagusii tribe. Their pieces used to sell for $1 each. But carvings of the dysfunctional Springfield residents fetch $6 apiece, and prices are expected to climb. "I don't know who they are," said one craftswoman of the Simpsons. "But I like them because I earn from them."