One of the oldest and most beautiful forms of crafting is the art of basket weaving. A whole world of texture, shape and colour can be found in street markets across the globe, reflecting local culture and tradition. They are both aesthetically pleasing and functional and tell a wonderful story of the place where they were made.
These stunning baskets originate from Bolgatanga in Northeast Ghana. They are crafted using the unique Guinea grass that’s found growing in the valley of the Red Volta River. They are incredibly strong and sturdy which is why they are popular for using as shopping baskets. Such is their wonderful colour and variety, they also make great features on their own. For information on where to buy Bolga Baskets, visit http://www.injabulo.com/
The market town of Tlacolula is well-known for its basket making prowess. These baskets, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca are commonly made from cornhusks or palm fronds. They are ideal for carrying vegetables, fruit, grain and tortillas from the market and can easily be picked up in this region. Some are hand-woven from palm leaves which involves incredible precision and perseverance. They are very attractive and the method behind creating them is passed down from generation to generation.
The iconic bamboo baskets of Vietnam come in all sizes and shapes with some many uses that you see them every day. Made with a back strap, they can be worn for collecting grain during harvest time and the lidded variety are perfect for storing the grain. Smaller versions are used like a lunch box. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Hanoi then the Old Quarter is a joy to behold. Each street is dedicated to selling a different craft with craftsmen and women linked to ancient guilds and certain villages. You’ll find a wide range of basket styles and materials with rattan also being a popular choice.
The most commonly seen basket is Morocco is the bread basket. Bread plays a huge part in Moroccan culture and their local bread, known as khobz, is always offered to guests who enter a home as a symbol of generosity, hospitality and warmth. Such baskets could also be used as useful storage pots and are usually designed with vivid bursts of colour and dramatic patterns. They are a stunning addition to any décor, whether grouped together or alone against a blank wall.
In the southern region of the country, the Guarani people are well-known for their amazing basket-weaving skills. Uniquely, these baskets are traditionally woven by the men from reeds called tankuarans. These baskets tell a rather sad tale of forced migration. The lowland region of Bolivia is where the most fertile land can be found but the Guarani people were driven away from this area with the growth of modernised, intensive agriculture and fuel companies after the oil and gas reserves.