Posted on December 13, 2017.
W H A T . A R E . T O N G A . B A SK E T S ?
Tonga Baskets or Binga Baskets are traditional of southern Zambia. Our baskets are handwoven by a group of women we work closely with who live in a village close to Monze.
It can take up to five days for a basket to be woven, depending on its size. The baskets are made from ilala palm, which the women either plant themselves (during wet season), or walk 10 kilometers to a field where they grow freely. In the case of the baskets, they had to do the walk in order to obtain their materials.
Making baskets in an importants means of income for Tonga women, especially older ones (younger women often refer to the baskets as “grandmother baskets” as they regard it as “uncool” to weave them, so the tradition of making baskets might die with modernization).
Our Tonga baskets are seasonal as the women only weave them for us during dry season, when there is not much else to do for them. During wet season, however, they become busy bees growing food for the next months in their field :) Basket weaving is important for them to survive the slower, dry months where droughts in the area are extremely common.
Traditionally, the baskets were used to carry maize from the fields and then separating the grains. While this practice is still common, they also make beautiful home decoration that will add a touch of African charm and character to any space.
S P E C S
Diameter (approximate): 51 cms / 21 inches
N O T E S
Please note that all our baskets are 100% hand woven. For this reason, there might be a few imperfections in them. We like to think of them as details that add character and history to each of our Tonga baskets.
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