Woven Baskets – A Short History of my Favorite African Baskets

One of my favorite items to bring back home are the beautiful woven baskets. When I lived in Uganda, there were so many colors and patterns available in excess, but upon moving to Kenya, I realized that they were more scarce here. This led me to research a bit more on these baskets, what they’re used for, and where they’re originally made. Below, I’ll take you through a brief history of the different kinds of baskets made from different countries in Africa and some great ways to style them in your home. 
Image may contain: people sitting, living room, table and indoorRwandan Peace Baskets:
Despite Rwanda’s tragic recent history, they have really pulled together as a nation and successfully restored peace and unity. 
These  Agaseke k’amahoro baskets represent those virtues. The sisal baskets are woven and filled with gifts like beans or rice to provide peace within the community. The baskets are also made deeper and in a cylindrical shape with a lid. 
They come in a variety of colors and patterns; the most popular being black and white. Many people use them as wall decor, hanging multiple baskets on the wall with a color combination that accents the room. I’ve seen others use them to hold items like fruits or living room items. Any way you use them, they represent peace and unity within your home. 

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Tonga Baskets from Zambia:

The Tonga women live in the Southern province of Zambia. 
The baskets are very wide and flat and made with neutral colors. Traditionally, the baskets are weaved with creepers, palm leaves, and tiny vines and colored with natural vegetable dyes. The women use them for grain winnowing.
In the home, the most beautiful way to use them is to display them on the wall (pictured to the right). 
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Bolga Baskets from Ghana:
The Bolga baskets come from Bolgatanga in the upper East region of Ghana. The weavers use dried elephant grass to produce such beautifully crafted baskets. 
They come in bright colors, although traditionally, this was not the case. 
To display these baskets, you can hang them up outside using the leather loops. You can use them as colorful storage and put blankets or magazines inside. I’ve seen people use them to organize their children’s toys or even carry them as shopping bags. 
Image may contain: 3 people, including Tarah Parsons and Loren Hamilton, indoor
How are your baskets displayed? Comment with pictures below!
Loren Hamilton

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