This practical Wolof canister basket is about 8" deep and 8" in diameter, with a tight-fitting lid. We like to store bread, coffee or tortillas in it to keep them fresh. White plastic strips with a subtle silver blossom pattern are woven around coiled grasses for a strong, durable basket that can be wiped clean as needed. This African basket is a fair trade product. Because it is handmade from natural materials, there will be slight variations in size, shape, pattern, and color from basket to basket.
Wolof women in Senegal produce these "prayer mat baskets", which are hand-woven from local grasses blended with plastic strips recycled from prayer mats. Prayer mat baskets are a blend of modern and traditional, and are remarkably strong and durable with a tight, solid weave.
About the producers: This basket was woven in a co-op of about 100 Wolof women in the West African country of Senegal. It is not known which weaver began the practice of using plastic strips in the baskets, but the innovation results in a stronger basket with modern appeal. Swahili Wholesale is a small business based in Eugene, Oregon. It is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, and works in conjunction with the Peace Corps to help the Wolof weavers export their baskets to Western markets.