Mbare purchases Tonga baskets directly from The Binga Craft Centre in Zimbabwe, contributing to a sustainable income source for women in this very difficult area, as well as supporting the continuation of traditional crafts. The Tonga women utilize traditional weaving techniques to create these intricately patterned baskets. Tonga baskets are woven using the over and under style of ‘simple’ weaving, and a 16 inch diameter basket can take around two weeks to complete. The baskets are finished using a coiled rim with a distinctive herringbone pattern.
These baskets are made from all natural and locally harvested materials such as wild grasses, small vines, and palm leaves dyed with tree bark. The largest sized bowls are still used by the Tonga people for their original purpose of winnowing grains.
Tonga baskets are an exciting way to bring traditional African crafts into your contemporary home! And when you purchase a fairly traded item like Mbare’s Tonga baskets, you receive a beautiful hand woven product while helping families in developing areas like Binga raise their standard of living.