Weaving Bukedo & Raffia Baskets in Uganda

Weavers construct these baskets by wrapping colorfully dyed palm raffia around a coil of bukedo, the local term in Uganda for banana leaf stalks. The large banana leaf stalks are pulled apart into long, thin strips, then dried, and then bundled into coils and wrapped with raffia. 

Weavers must skillfully extend more bukedo onto the coils as they weave, in order to maintain the consistency of the coil’s size and shape. Each coil is then wrapped or occasionally stitched to the adjacent coil. All the weaving materials are locally sourced, renewable, plentiful resources – making the weaving of these baskets completely sustainable. 

Handwoven baskets usually feature unique, one of kind designs. These bukedo and raffia baskets, however, utilize bright colors and inventive, coordinating designs in a variety of sizes, which makes them fun and easy to decorate with. 

Combine several of them to fill an entire wall with color and beauty – a loop on the back makes them easy to hang. They also look great on a table or displayed on a shelf. 

While the designs, materials, and weaving techniques are traditional, these creative weavers use color and complexity to give their baskets a modern feel.

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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. In doing so, they focus on supporting differently abled weavers. 

The group was founded over 30 years ago by a woman who walks with the aid of crutches, whose passion it is to uplift as many similarly challenged women as possible. 


About Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region in East-Central Africa. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin and has a varied but generally moderate equatorial climate.

Uganda’s population was 34.9 million in 2014; the median age of 15 years is the lowest in the world. Uganda has the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.97 children born per woman.

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 reducing the countrywide poverty incidence from 56 percent of the population in 1992 to 24.5 percent in 2009, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas, which are home to 84 percent of Ugandans.

People in rural areas of Uganda depend on farming as the main source of income and 90 per cent of all rural women work in the agricultural sector. In addition to agricultural work, rural women are responsible for the caretaking of their families. The average Ugandan woman spends 9 hours a day on domestic tasks, such as preparing food and clothing, fetching water and firewood, and caring for the elderly, the sick as well as orphans. As such, women on average work longer hours than men, between 12 and 18 hours per day, with a mean of 15 hours, as compared to men, who work between 8 and 10 hours a day.

Source: Wikipedia

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Uganda Bukedo & Raffia baskets