About the basket weavers

African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

We are proud to support African basket weavers by offering unique handmade baskets from throughout the African continent. These one-of-a-kind pieces of functional artwork are woven by African craftspeople who share our commitment to quality.

By weaving baskets in the traditional manner, the basket weavers of Africa — most of them women — are preserving their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

We are pleased to promote the work of these skilled artisans who are contributing to sustainable economic development and stability throughout Africa.

We are members of the Fair Trade Federation, an organization that shares our strong belief that indigenous people around the world should be compensated fairly for their amazing work.

Learn more about Fair Trade

Botswana

The Okavango Delta in Botswana

Women of the Bayei and Hambukushu tribal groups painstakingly create this art from ‘mokola’ palm tree fiber coil woven around grass or vine. The bark and roots from 2 different trees are used to make the dye colors, as are decomposing sorghum husks and shrub leaves.

eSwatini (Swaziland)

A Swazi sisal basket weaver.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Sisal Coil Woven Baskets

Weavers take an average of 30 hours to create an 8 inch basket which makes these some of the most labor intensive of all African baskets.

Ghana

A Ghana Bolga basket weaver.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Bolga Baskets

For many generations, weaving has been a traditional skill of the Gurune people of northern Ghana. Mostly done by women, basket weaving and other handicrafts supplement these subsistence farmers’ incomes.

Kenya

A Kenya Beaded Wire basket weaver.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Beaded Wire Baskets

The Maasai and Kikiyu people continue a long history as some of the foremost bead workers in Africa.

Namibia

Namibian basket weavers.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

A portion of the proceeds from each basket sold goes to a fund which provides educational opportunities for the girls of Namibia.

Nubian Baskets (Kenya & Uganda)

A Nubian basket weaver. African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Nubian refugees in Uganda, Kenya and other countries work hard to preserve their native culture through traditional activities such as basket weaving.

Rwanda

Rwandan basket weavers.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

In Rwanda, “the land of a thousand hills”, weavers from many tribes, including the recently warring Hutus and Tutsis, create sisal bowl baskets as symbols of peace, reconciliation, self- reliance and hope.

Sahel region

A village in the Sahel region of West Africa.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

We feature beautiful and functional harvest and storage baskets from Mossi, Fulani and Tuareg weavers.

South Africa

Zulu wire basket weavers.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Zulu Wire Baskets

Since wire baskets are woven by many men due to the difficult nature of weaving wire, they are able to stay home on their tribal lands instead of moving to cities to look for work. In the rural groups we work with, the family units are preserved so that the African basket weavers and their families can live more traditional lifestyles.

A Zulu Ilala palm basket weaver.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Zulu Ilala Palm Baskets

The age-old tradition of basket weaving is usually passed down from grandmother to granddaughter. This helps to preserve Zulu culture as the grandmothers have the opportunity to recite oral history and stories to the younger generations as they all weave together.

A Zulu Beaded Wire basket weaver.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Zulu Copper Beaded Baskets

Due to the remoteness, scarce population, and challenging rocky terrain in this area, fully one-third of the economy of the Msinga district comes from grassroots home based businesses such as farming and basket weaving.

Uganda

Ugandan basket weavers.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Bukedo & Raffia Baskets

This group is based in Kampala, Uganda and supports women within the city as well as in nearby villages. Their mission is to support as many marginalized women as possible through the promotion of their handcrafts.

A Ugandan basket weaver. African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

Rwenzori & Virunga Baskets

The Batwa people are known as “The Keepers of the Forest” because they have inhabited the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for over 60,000 years. The women who weave these baskets support themselves entirely by their craft.

Zimbabwe

A Binga basket weaver in Zimbabwe.  African basket weavers preserve their cultural heritage while they support themselves and their families.

The weavers depend on basket income to sustain themselves beyond what food they grow as subsistence farmers. They often use the money earned to pay school fees for their children.

Shop with a conscience.
Choose Fair Trade goods.

All of our African baskets are verified Fair Trade, because we believe that indigenous people around the world should be compensated fairly for their amazing work.

Learn more about Fair Trade