MASHTAKA: Medium White, Turquoise and Brown Sisal Basket
This white, turquoise and brown basket is one-of-a-kind. The meticulous art of basket weaving is passed along the female line in rural Kenya, and each piece in this very special collection of woven baskets is a true one-off. The MASHTAKA was hand-woven and hand-dyed in rural Kenya from hand-stripped, hand-rolled sisal grass. Its creator? A highly talented craftswoman working within a weaving cooperative in Kenya’s rural Coastal Region.
This tremendously artistic group of weavers produce woven baskets to their own unique designs, selecting the patterns and colourways that best showcase their own exceptional talents. Sisal grass is hand stripped using wooden tools and the weavers’ feet, and then it is hand rolled on the thighs before being woven using a traditional twining method. All sisal grass is hand-dyed in large vats of boiling water.
This unique woven basket can be used all over the home for tidying, storing and organising - bringing a splash of style and a pop of colour with it. Take your MASHTAKA into the kitchen for storing vegetables, pop yours in the bathroom for storing loo rolls or toiletries, or use it in the nursery for tidying away toys, blankets and books. Its uses are endless, but for more basket inspiration, see our uses page HERE.
The Basket Room works with a Community Based Organisation representing several women’s weaving cooperatives in Kenya. Profits from sales and all donations to the CBO are used to offer further support to these women’s groups. Weaving takes place primarily during the dry seasons, since most weavers are subsistence farmers using basket weaving as a supplementary means of income. To own one of our woven baskets is to support us in our journey to empower women, since basket weaving enables these women to provide for themselves and their families, and to overcome barriers. Meet the weavers from this region HERE.
Dimensions: 26cm DIA x 22cm H
Click here for our basket SIZE GUIDE
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
HANDMADE IN KENYA
Our journey into sustainable style began in Kenya, and the lion’s share of our woven baskets are Kenyan-made. Whilst every region of Kenya boasts its own rich natural bounty, each cooperative we partner with offers expertise in its own unique form of basketry. Weaving, dyeing and grass-rolling techniques differ across the regions as much as basket shapes, patterns and structures. These precious crafts are woven through the generations within families - passed along continuous thread from mother to daughter - protecting and preserving an art form as old as man.
Vast and colourful, vibrant and bursting with natural beauty and style, our fair trade baskets are as eclectic as their homeland and its people. From sisal grass to doum palm, banana leaf fibres to palm leaf, each weaving cooperative works with what is locally available and only what can be sustainably sourced, to produce beautiful baskets which are 100% Kenyan made, and ethically produced. All cow hide bag tags, straps, and basket labels are made from leather sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Natural dyes come from pounded roots, bark and vegetables of the region, whilst all synthetic dyes are sustainably sourced.
From the Kamba tribe to the camel-herding Ariaal pastoralists of Northern Kenya, you can read more about the lives of the Kenyan weavers we work with - and the wonderful baskets they produce - below.