Bolga(African Market Baskets)
Fair trade Bolga baskets - African Market Baskets in a variety of shapes, sizes & colours from the Bolgatanga region in Northern Ghana.
We are delighted to have these gorgeous round baskets from Northern Ghana, where many of the women live on less than $1 a day.
Environmentally friendly, green and eco friendly, these woven baskets will last for years.
We are proud and priveleged to sell these baskets supplied by the Baba Tree Basket Company who go that extra mile in supplying baskets of the very highest quality. In addition the weavers are paid over and above the average for this region. There are many suppliers of these baskets now but we are confident that those supplied by Baba Tree are of the very best quality and contribute to sustaining this impoverished community in Northern Ghana. Learn more about the people here
Over centuries, weavers from Bolga have passed down traditional weaving skills to subsequent generations, including the youth of today. This sophisticated form of basket making is unique to this corner of Ghana and across West Africa.
Fortunately, basket making skills are widespread. Children learn the basics of splitting grass with their teeth and rolling it on their legs to twist it in preparation for weaving beside their mothers. They might start practicing on small baskets when they're young so that, by the time, they're adults, they've mastered basic basket making techniques.
About 25,000 knots - where warp meets weft - are woven by expert, calloused hands in order to create a Baba Tree 16'' Round basket. That doesn't include creating a very neat coil around the top of the basket, nor does it include the work involved in creating a neat and very strong handle that is going to be subjected to a stringent quality control process by the Baba Tree (as are all aspects of the basket).
The above tasks take about 2.5 to 4 days work depending on the weaver. This figure does not include the time that it takes for the weaver to walk to the market to purchase straw. It doesn't take into consideration the time it takes for the weaver to prepare the straw for dyeing (another day 1.5 to 2 days work for one basket) or the time it takes to dye the straw. The Baba Tree dyes all the straw for our weavers.
If these baskets become dirty, or need re-shaping, simply spray with water (keep the leather dry) bend the area with your hand and allow to dry thoroughly.
Full instructions for re-shaping and care come with every basket!
This can be repeated as many times as necessary without damaging the basket although the colours may fade eventually.
The big baskets take up to 3 days to make using straw known as elephant grass (Veta Veta).
They were originally made without handles and used as sieves in the brewing process of an alcoholic drink created for special occasions.
These baskets are a lovely alternative to plastic as shopping baskets, environmentally friendly and "green". They make a wonderful basket for your stash, knitting basket, and a storage basket for so many different uses.