Kenyan Basket Weavers | The Shopper

Once upon a time, these Kamba tribeswomen wove baskets to carry harvested crops from the field. Today, their granddaughters and great-granddaughters are turning this art form into a profitable business, weaving practical and aesthetic bags from this hardy and versatile crop.

Drought has led to very poor harvests all over Africa, and many Kamba rely on government initiatives to feed themselves and their families during the driest seasons. Drought-resistant sisal grass and basket weaving have become vital resources for these people, and the practical weaving skills passed along the female line for generations has found a new, viable business – and a legacy for generations to follow.

The weaving cooperative behind our lovely woven shoppers is over 700-women strong, and was founded in 2011. This is a relatively new weaving co-operative, and there are plans to pay its members a regular dividend in time: money, which will help families to pay school fees and meet medical bills.

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