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Shop for Zulu Copper Beaded Baskets | South Africa Information

South Africa, Zululand

Zulu Copper Beaded

Zulu Basket Weaver Copper BeadedAbout Msinga

This weaving group is located in the Msinga district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, right in the heart of Zululand. It is some of the most arid land in the country, which makes it extremely challenging to subsist. For example, running water in communal faucets just arrived in mid-2010 to the villages where the weavers live.

The People

Over 99% of the people in this area are Zulu who live true to their cultural traditions. Due to the remoteness, scarce population, and challenging rocky terrain in this area, fully 1/3rd of the economy of the Msinga district comes from grassroots home based businesses such as farming and basket weaving.

A Fair Trade basket weaving project like this one is a perfect opportunity for the women in the area to support themselves and their families.

Basket Creation

Weavers use a very fine gauge copper wire strung with beautiful glass beads. While fine gauge wire is needed so that it fits through the holes in the beads, the thin wire makes the baskets more time consuming to create.

Zulu Basket Weaver Copper BeadedThese weavers have a great sense of color and strive to use perfectly complementing beads.

Baskets are woven over a form, sometimes that form is even a piece of traditional Zulu pottery. Because the forms themselves are sometimes handmade pottery, there are unique variations in shape and size of each basket.

No one knows the exact origins of Zulu wire weaving, but it is common knowledge that Zulu security guards in the cities have, and still do, practice this art of weaving.Zulu Basket Weaver Copper Beaded

Evidence also suggests that Zulu people may have been making indigenous wire up to 1,000 years ago.

About Copper Zulu Basket Weaver Copper Beaded

Because the copper used in weaving these baskets is pure, it is quite soft. It is also a very valuable, expensive resource with prices increasing 500% from 1999 until reaching an all time high in 2006. Over 80% of all copper ever mined in human history is still in use - a testament to itís 100% recyclability.

Zulu Basket Weaver Copper BeadedIn recent years these weavers have even taken to weaving in copper, sterling silver, and 18 carat gold for specially commissioned baskets and overseas art exhibitions.

Shop for Zulu Copper Beaded Baskets | South Africa Information

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