The Montebello Design Centre, in collaboration with Botsawancraft, will be hosting an exhibition of handcrafted baskets from Botswana from 8 – 28 November.
The most famous of all the craft products of Botswana is the basket. As an intergral part of the Botswana agricultural culture, baskets have been made and used traditionally for thousands of years.
Closed baskets with lids are used for storing grain, seeds, and sometimes sorghum beer. Large, open bowl shaped baskets are used by the women for carrying items on their heads and for winnowing grain after it has been threshed. Smaller, plate shaped baskets are used for winnowing grain after it has been pounded.
The main producers of baskets are the women of the Bayei and Hambukushu tribes in northwestern Botswana. Although baskets are still very much a common sight in rural Botswana, more and more are being produced today for the commercial market. Expansion and diversity of weaving techniques, designs and the use of colour are encouraged through upgrading courses, annual competitions and exhibitions. Today, the baskets of Botswana are a very fine art form.
Botswanacraft was established in 1970 by the Botswana Development Corporation to develop the rural based handicraft industry of the country. Dedicated towards improving the quality of life for rural Batswana and the management and utilisation of our natural resources, Botswanacraft complements locally made products by importing handicrafts from the southern African region and other developing countries.