How Basket Making Reflects East African Cultural Values: Part 2

Basket WeavingFor the artisans of Harkiss Designs, the process of harvesting and preparing materials, dyeing the fibers and creating traditional baskets is more than just a way to earn a living. The growing basket weaving industry in Uganda and other East African nations is the embodiment of traditional values.

Basketry in East Africa reflects a deeply ingrained way of life. The art of basket making is rooted in the strong sense of family and community shared throughout many regions. Woven products from natural materials like millet stalks, papyrus fiber and raffia have long been essential to home construction, household tasks, agriculture, keeping livestock, gift giving, and sharing goods and food with others.

Producing baskets for sale on the world market taps into other East African cultural values too, including:

Respect for authority and elders in learning and maintaining the basket making traditions

  • Hard work in meeting production quotas
  • Justice and fairness, allowing more families to improve their quality of life
  • Sense of hospitality as weavers gather at community workshops to weave and socialize
  • Honesty and integrity in producing the finest products possible

At Harkiss Designs, we share in the values that lie at the heart of the basket making tradition in East African. We believe that these values are woven into the very fiber of each basket we sell and trust that, when you hold one of these treasures in your hands, you will feel your own connection to the strength of their tradition

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