Elephant grass is a sturdy straw that grows in the Upper East Region of Ghana and is perfect for weaving the beautiful Bolga baskets we sell. The baskets are strong, with leather handles and are perfect for using as home decor, or carrying items from the market. We love the earthiness of these baskets, and believe you can't have too many around your house!
Gifty and Akuli are both single mothers who have been training to weave these beautiful baskets in the small community of Gambibigo in the Upper East Region. These two women will be receiving Business Build grants so they can buy a bulk supply of straw and dye, and produce 25 baskets each for a bulk purchase, which we will then sell here in the U.S.
The women spend their days weaving in groups, on the ground with children running around and lots of laughter and chatter. The women begin by softening the straw with water, then rolling it back and forth across their legs until it pliable and ready to weave. Then, they begin at the bottom and work their way up, incorporating the straw pieces they have dyed into a pattern that creates a beautiful weave.
The leather is wrapped around the handles after the weaving is complete, and then the baskets are ready for the market, or for flattening and shipping. We have a variety of baskets here for purchase, and available at House Parties and Pop-Up Shops. In 2018, we'll begin offering baskets made by Gifty and Akuli, as well as Nmaa and Teni on our online store.