Batwa Basket from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda | 9.25"
The Batwa people of Uganda have lived in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for generations with the endangered mountain gorillas.
However close to 20 years ago, the Batwa, also referred as pygmies, have been forced out of the forest because of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and its emphasis on tourism for economic support. Unfortunately as a result of this many of the Batwa people live impoverished on the fringes of the forest.
On a brighter note, many of the women, to make a living, are now learning creative skills.The multicoloured nyamuraza baskets are popular and they come in different sizes. They are made from raffia palm and local grass that is found near their homes.
The pattern of the basket is inspired by cultivated hillsides during the cycle of planting or harvesting. The dyes are all naturally sourced and extracted by hand from the women.
After pounding the roots, they will produce a yellow dye. The fresh bark from a local plant is used to create an orange colour. The ishigwa vegetable gives a green colour, and with the addition of ash, will produce a purple dye.
From the proceeds of their businesses, the women pay school fees and supplement their domestic needs. By giving select teams of Batwa women foundational skills that they can replicate in their villages.
This basket measures:
8" x 8" x 9.25"