These bright yellow and green elephant grass percussion instruments are filled with beans and produce a unique, earthy rattle. Artisans in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana handcraft these colorful African percussion instruments from stiff elephant grass. A calabash gourd base keeps the rattling beans intact.
Size: [Small] 2.5"D x 6"T; [Med] 3.5"D x 7.5"T; [Large] 5"D x 9.5"T.
Starting from a small woven circle, Ghanaian basket weavers work their way out from a central point to reveal beautiful, distinctive Bolga baskets. Sometimes called “market baskets,” Bolga baskets are woven from veta vera, or elephant grass. While the grass is grown primarily in southern Ghana, weavers in the northern region of Bolgatanga excel at transforming the tough grass fiber into the iconic baskets. The people from the region rely on the sale of handcrafted items to supplement their income, and their craftsmanship is demonstrated by the high quality of these artfully woven baskets.
The weaving of Bolga baskets in Ghana has been a traditional skill for many generations, and is often a communal process. The Bolga baskets sold by Swahili Modern are fair trade and a reliable source of income for weavers and their families. Just as the baskets begin as a small circle and expand, so does the impact of purchasing fair trade items that directly benefit, support and empower the artisans who create them.