These coiled woven baskets are made using raffia and banana stalk locally known as “bukeddo”. Raffia is a light fibre that is removed from a long palm-like leaf usually grown in the forests and the bukeddo is harvested from the banana plantations. An ideal material for basket weaving, raffia can be dyed into almost any color.
The weaving skills are traditionally passed on to children at the tender age of 9 years from mother/ grandmother.Finished pieces were/are either used for fruit gathering, food preparations or given away as wedding gifts.
Banana trees are ubiquitous in East Africa and everywhere you go you will see people carrying bunches of the green peel bananas (matoke),which are a staple food. Bananas provide food while their trees provide raw materials for cooking and for craft making. The stems from the leaves are used within the basket while the fibre from the bark of the plant is used to create the exterior design of the basket.
Banana fibre is a robust material that is ripped from the sides of a banana tree.
These baskets come in three sizes: 25-35 and 40 CM, which is the circumference of the top of the basket.