These beautifully hand crafted baskets are the apex of the basket maker’s art in Zimbabwe. The baskets made from the Ilala palm leaf start as a woven square in the centre. The pattern on the edging is referred to as “snake’s belly”, as the pattern resembles the scales of a serpent. The design is very functional, as the baskets are used to winnow grain even today. The baskets are sometimes called “grandmother
baskets” because few younger women are making them.
They are hand made and the material is quite flexible so the diameter is never perfectly round. See images.