These striking rare baskets are woven by Samburu and Rendille women in remote northern Kenya. Called "nomadic baskets," the baskets are styled for the modern home but based on traditional designs used for the storage of camel's milk.
Nomadic baskets are sold in three useful nesting sizes and are adorned with red beads. Because these baskets are handcrafted, each will vary slightly.
Each basket is tightly knit and is designed to last a lifetime. [L] 7.5"D x 5"T [M] 5.5"D x 4"T [S] 4.5"D x 4"T.
For the pastoral communities of northern Kenya, life pivots on the coming of rain and the survival of livestock. When the skies open, the landscape becomes lush and fragrant. Cattle and goats drink and forage near home and families stay together. In times of drought, warriors must travel far to find water for their herds, leaving women and children at home alone to endure dry seasons of unknown length as the streams, earth and trees dry around them.
Where they were once only allowed to own milk, Samburu women now own camels, plus they earn income by making baskets, processing meat and hides, keeping bees and refining honey. Through this shift in property control and a general increase in literacy in the region, Samburu women have become valued contributing community members.
These handmade hearts from Kenya are carved from soapstone, then dyed and etched by artisans.
The hearts are dyed to a rich red using non-toxic dyes. Each heart measures 2"W x 1.25"T and feels "chubby" when held in the hand.
Give the hearts to someone special or pass them out as small gifts to friends and loved ones!
Bosma's father once owned a thriving workshop in downtown Nairobi, and he taught Bosma the crafts of woodworking and carving soapstone. Following in his footsteps, Bosma and his sister Pamela continue to produce artworks of various mediums and also help other Kenyan craftspeople to export their works.
These vibrant heart dishes are hand-carved from solid soapstone in Kenya. The dishes are dyed to rich hues using natural plant dyes.
The dishes make great catch-alls for any occasion and are fair trade. Measures 3.5"L x 3.5"W x 1"H.
At the Ndima Crafts' finishing shop in Nairobi’s industrial district, roughly a dozen artisans of varied ethnicity transform raw soapstone by using non-toxic synthetic dyes under the leadership of Charles Ndibe. Charle's exacting standards of quality and friendly demeanor make him one of Swahili Modern's most reliable vendors.
These natural "bolga" hats are handwoven in Ghana using elephant grass. The tight knit of the grass offers excellent protection from the sun.
Wash and reshape with water as needed. Hats include a braided leather strap with tassel.
Measures 11-12"D. Size may vary slightly. Fair trade.
Master weaver Tahiru owns a workshop in Bolga that is connected to his home. Having collaborated with high-end designers for a number of American companies, Tahiru is a skilled weaver who has taught both men and women to make bolga baskets of a truly exceptional quality. His generous spirit and talent has allowed many impoverished farmers in the area to attain a sustainable way of living.