These grass-woven baskets have been handmade by a group of women in a rural community bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda.
Natural and sustainable dyes
All of the colours that you see in these baskets are made naturally using traditional knowledge of herbs.
Two different grasses are used, one to give structure and one for the detail.
The result is these amazing and practical baskets and pots that would add style equally to a dressing table, bookshelf or side table.
“Beautiful things should belong to beautiful souls.” Muriel Barbery
These ethnic African baskets certainly are beautiful, ethical and perfect for those who appreciate art. So, make sure to buy one (or more!) if you would like something special in your home or a charming gift for your loved ones.
As all baskets are handmade, please expect some differences in sizing and patterns.
22cm high (including lid)
14cm diameter at base
Fair trade benefits to artisans
Most of the baskets that we have are woven by a lady called Topista. She is 74 years young and a mother and a grandmother. Each basket typically takes her 4 days to complete between other household tasks (the average Ugandan women spends 9 hours a day on household tasks). Last year the extra income she generated helped cover the family medical bills and even employ extra help so that she could focus more of her time on weaving!
About Bwindi Handmade Crafts
The founders of Bwindi Handicrafts spent 2 years working for a small NGO in Uganda. While working on sustainability projects they made a deep connection with the country, the life and the people that lived there. And it is these connections that they are continuing to develop and promote through opening up opportunities for their partners to sell their crafts.
Their inspiration comes from the strength and determination of the women that they work with.
How your purchase can make a difference
Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world. In 2012, 37.8 percent of the population lived on less than $1.25 a day. Despite making enormous progress in recent years, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas, which are home to 84 percent of Ugandans.
Bwindi Handmade Crafts is committed to promoting and empowering the groups that they work with so that they have a secure and sustainable source of income. By buying one of these baskets you are playing an important part in ensuring that this happens.
How these baskets are made
These craft items have been made by a small group of Batwa women who live on the borders of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South West Uganda. The Batwa people traditionally lived off the forest’s resources until it was made a conservation area in the early 90’s and they were forced to leave the forest and survive outside. These women use their knowledge of herbs to make the natural dyes for the grasses and the traditional weaving skills passed down from mother to daughter for generations.
The baskets are made from two types of grass – a thicker stronger grass for the structure and the thinner more pliable one for weaving it together and creating the beautiful patterns that you see.
Our baskets are sturdy, strong, and flexible, made to withstand constant use. If properly cared for, your basket will live a long life.
Dust your woven basket on a regular basis, wiping with a damp cloth if necessary. No other cleaning should be necessary.
Changes in temperature and humidity may cause your basket to expand and contract, which may make securing the lid difficult at times. Be patient and wait for the weather to change or remove from areas with high humidity (like bathrooms).