The Story of the Zienzele Baskets
60 Kilometers south of Masvingo, Zimbabwe, are 5 small villages in one of the driest and poorest areas of Zimbabwe. The Zienzele Foundation has started a basket weaving project there to generate income for the women and pay school fees for over 1.000 HIV orphans from these villages.
These baskets are traditionally given as gifts and symbolise a long and happy life.
The tropical agave / sisal plant is the raw material for these beautiful, traditional Zimbabwean, baskets. The fibers of the sisal plant are harvested, dried and hand-dyed with natural dyes from tree bark, flowers and/or seeds. They are then dried again and rolled against the weaver's leg until the perfect thread is drawn out. An average of 30-40 hours per Zienzele basket makes these one of the most labour intensive of all African baskets for their size! Each basket has its own pattern and colour, which makes them all one-of-a-kind.
The Zienzele baskets are only woven in the dry season. In winter, when it rains, the women work on the fields to harvest corn.
We have different sizes available. They look great on the wall, combined with different sizes. Have a look at these 30cm Zienzele baskets, for example.
PS We have more baskets than the ones shown on the pictures! Just no time to put them all online. Please contact us and we'll happily send you photos.