The Makenge tree grows only a few yards high and sends out long shallow roots. These fine root hairs are dug out by the men of the tribe and are skinned to remove the thin covering. The roots are carefully harvested to ensure the health of the indigenous tree ensuring that basket making materials will be available for generations to come.
The roots are boiled and sometimes dyed with natural pigments. When they are dry, the women weave the baskets. The entire process takes about 6 months with the weaving requiring several weeks. These are working baskets used in daily life for storage, winnowing and holding water. We are honored to present these baskets, woven over 30 years ago. They are an incredible testament to weaving skills of the Mbundu and Losi women of the remote Western Provence of Zambia.