About Our Bolgatanga Market Baskets
Posted December 06, 2019
Bolga baskets are exclusively hand woven by the people around the town of Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana. For many generations, weaving has been a skill of these people. Handicraft activities such as basket weaving, leather work, and pottery are undertaken mostly by women to supplement their incomes
Fair Trade Practices~
This weaving group has a mission: assisting the rural people of Northern Ghana to earn good incomes in order to care of their children. They believe when a woman can create an income, it puts food into the bowl of a child, and that it is also a means of promoting self-esteem for the women, children, and the entire village.
• Veta vera straw, known locally as kinkahe, is collected from the tops of the grass stalk, then each piece is split in half vertically.
• Each half of the split straw is then twisted tightly by rolling it back together to give it strength.
• There are a variety of different handles, but all are made with a sturdy wrapping technique around a grass core.
• The straw is put in bunches and dyed in boiling water. For bright colors the straw is dyed yellow first, then the color.
• The weaver carefully selects appropriate straw for the base, sides and handle. The selection of the proper grass for various parts of the basket is critical to good weaving.
• Weaving starts at the base and works up to the rim. The rims are generally finished flat, or wrapped with straw to form a tube like edge.
• Remaining bits of straw that are sticking out of the basket are carefully trimmed off.
• Leather handles are skillfully applied by local leather workers.
• A medium basket takes about 3 days. Some shapes and patterns are more difficult to weave and take longer.