Well, after 20 years we thought it was time for a new website! We’ve redesigned the site from the bottom up to make it easier to use and to include more features and information.
The last two years have been a difficult time for everyone, and that includes the basket weavers in Africa. Almost all of the weaving groups we work with told us that all of their buyers cancelled their orders when the pandemic began … except for us.
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.
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 weavers and their families can live more traditional lifestyles.
The Shona people have a history of carving in stone that dates back about 1,200 years. Most artists work using simple hand tools and very few have electric tools. The stone is carved using ideas derived from the artists’ imaginations, dreams or family carving styles.