There is a story in everything
The Story behind these beautiful baskets
Commonly known as Tonga Baskets, they are made using ilala palm, a shrub autochthonous to the region, growing freely, but also re-planted in recent years for the purpose of basket weaving. Women are behind the production of these woven beauties, in the Tonga Craft Centre, focused on maintaining traditional craftsmanship, based in Binga village, Zimbabwe.
They have a distinctive woven square in the centre of each basket that is used as a foundation from which the rest of the basket is woven. Apart from this curious similarity, each piece is completely one of a kind, with different weave patterns, colours and sizes.
Taking up to two weeks to weave, depending on the size, these perfectly imperfect baskets are like a work of art. Their common use however is quite practical, mainly being used for harvesting crops and carrying and winnowing grain.
Basket making and other exported crafts are a way for women to sustain themselves and their families in a region prone to drought and poverty. You can find different crafts such as beading, pottery and drum-making.
How to style at home?
As Interior Designers, we appreciate the traditional and practical uses of these pieces. However, we love them so much and are so special, that we need to display them in our homes.
Binga Baskets are best combined in an assortment of sizes and patterns creating an impressive wall mural. If you don’t have any bare walls, but still want to incorporate this piece into your home, you can use one as a centrepiece or even a fruit bowl.
Our Nongo Basket is another jewel originating from the Tonga, made with the same materials and weaving techniques, but in a different shape used for storing and carrying grain.
Nongo Baskets can be placed on high shelves to highlight their unique silhouette or on the floor in front of a bed or layered with a carpet in a decorative corner.
Find all these items here on our website or see them with your own eyes in our Mijas showroom!