Bolga Baskets – How they are Made 1

Bolga Baskets – How they are Made 1

The straw is the main material used in producing Bolga baskets.  It is obtained from a tropical grass commonly known as the elephant grass with Pennisetum purpureum as the latin name.  The local names include Nanchem Gulu (Kassena Nankana),  Kulukata (Gruni),  Kpenpening (Bulk),  Kulkara ( Dagomba).  The grass grows along banks of rivers, streams and swampy areas.  The grass grows, matures and tussles just like wheat.  The straw then tussles with a broom like flower at the top, matures by growing longer and bigger.  To harvest the straw, each broom of straw is held with the left hand and pulled down from the husk that encloses the straw with the right hand.  It breaks at the end leaving the husk on the grass for further tussles.  A nib between the forefinger and the thumb cuts off the flower at the top of the straw.  This is done to every single piece of straw.  The straw is harvested wet.  This is sun dried, ready to go through the weaving process.

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