Are Hand-Woven Baskets the Next Big Thing to Come out of Africa?

| October 16, 2012

When my home state of Maryland began imposing a 5 cents plastic bag tax on Montgomery County shoppers in January 2012, I was lost in terms of bagging options. Personally, I hate the tax because I hardly ever remember to carry along one of my many reusable bags that are essential to avoiding the 5 cents tax. Add to that the fact that I don’t even like any of the reusable bags any more than I like the fact that I have to pay 5 cents to avoid using one, and grocery shopping is now a constant nightmare.

Which is why when it recently occurred to me that I might want to consider going back to my roots, I was thrilled. I grew up in Ghana where going to the market with a basket was the normal thing to do. Even so, many of us preferred to use plastic shopping bags over baskets because we’d rather not be caught dead with a basket in our hands. It was too local. Even the mountains of garbage choking our drainage holes and littering our roads wasn’t enough to stop us.

And just like all the things we once considered local and beneath us (agege bags, Shea butter, locally produced soaps, black soap, and even locally produced wax prints), many of us had to travel to the West to finally see value in our home country’s productions. Will hand-woven baskets be next?  Take for instance the Bolgatanga basket, made in Northern Ghana, I have sitting in one of the cupboards in my kitchen that I’ve never used.  That basket was an exhibit at a local foreign-owned art gallery, but I’m now considering going to the grocery store with it to see what the reaction will be, and if the trend will catch on. I sure hope it does. What do you think?

To see more of these beautiful hand-woven baskets, visit BasketsfromAfrica.

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  1. TM says:

    I just bought two a 15 inch and a 16 inch market basket this week! I look the way they look in my home. I use the 16 inch as a book container instead of a magazine rack. The small one I haven’t found a use for it yet. Probably shopping!

  2. AG Magazine AG Magazine says:

    🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts TM. I’m sure you’ll find a use for the small basket soon. Probably shopping!