Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Basket ware ..

... is an art that the African rural women have a real talent for .. as well as their beading. Firefly mentioned their beadwork a little while ago so I thought I would focus on their baskets.

There is a small roadside stall beside the main road near Champagne Castle Hotel where the women sit all day and every day, with nimble fingers, making baskets of all shapes and sizes .. from large laundry baskets .. snack platters and bowls .. trays .. trinket baskets, from large to small to teeny tiny ... mats ... waste paper baskets ..... etc ...

They not only have 'elaborate' stalls like this one, but they also sit under trees on the grass verges, twisting and weaving their grasses while displaying their goods to passer's-by. The baskets are of excellent quality and it's well worth stopping to browse and .... purchase some ... you won't be able to resist!!
I have bought many over the years ..... these are my two laundry baskets - the largest of the two we purchased about 11 years ago and it's still perfect! Well .. almost .... wearing a little where the lid goes but other than that, it's perfect ..... and it's been stuffed-to-overflowing with the family laundry over the years ...

Everytime we go to Kwa Zulu Natal, especially the Drakensberg area, I usually buy one .. be it a snack bowl or small bread basket or a trinket basket like these below ...

This little one is one of my favourites and I bought for Elaine years ago for her 'rings and things'. I love the tiny little lid with tiny handle ...

When we first started going to the Drakensberg area, all their basket ware was made in natural grasses and shades but over the years they have added colours .... the colours seem to be nylon which is a pity to add an unnatural fibre but that's what they do ... I suppose to make them eye-catching.

Another 'teeny tiny' basket ....

.. and then I have a collection of fruit, snack and bread baskets .... these are some of them ...


  1. They are lovely! I have a few at home to. I forget to use them though!

  2. Love the angles in the last shot.
    I don't think I have any at home anymore.

  3. Jeanette is hinting for a basket for her birthday.
    When you have roadside crafters like that you will always find some tourists or holiday makers checking out and buying the wares. Its always a nice keepsake or gift. Like for Jeanette for example.