These vintage handwoven baskets are the apex of the Bathonga people in Zimbabwe and Southern Zambia. The baskets made from the Ilala palm leaf start as a woven square and end up almost perfectly round. The pattern on the edging is referred to as “snake’s belly”, as the pattern resembles the scales of a serpent. Palm fibres are died using tree bark to make fibres with different colours.
These particular range of baskets are vintage originally used to winnowing grains. Winnowing is an agricultural method developed by ancient cultures for separating grain from chaff, in its simplest form it involves throwing the mixture into the air so the wind blows away the lighter chaff, whilst the heaviest grains fall back down for recovery.
Baskets make great art especially wall pieces. The patina in these baskets are stunning due to use in the field and their age.