Like many home decorators around the world I love a basket wall. On one of my trips to Africa I came home carrying three giant Batonga baskets [also called Tonga baskets] which I displayed as a feature wall over our bed in our previous home; whilst today, my home studio has a colourful basket wall created with our Swazi Baskets and Wired Lace Platter.
With so many different types of African baskets, both traditional and contemporary styles, I thought I would start a series of posts showcasing the beauty and origins of African basketry starting with the beautiful Makenge Basket.
Woven as an agricultural tool for winnowing (grain separation); maize following grinding, is tossed through these baskets to remove any rough pieces or husks. Crafted from the twisted roots of the Makishi plant, brides in Zambia are gifted a Makenge Basket which is often handed down from mother to daughter. Makenge Baskets are extremely durable and can be kept in a family for over 100 years. Each basket has a unique pattern that is decorated over time to reflect personal taste and tradition.
The following images are a mix of the older style Makenge Baskets, note the decorative patches; along with newer contemporary style Makenge Baskets.