This lovely South African Zulu basket is approximately 11" tall, including the lid, and 8" wide at its largest point. It has a black, cream and brown wedding pattern, and includes a card containing detailed information on Zulu baskets. If you purchase this basket you will receive the exact one pictured.
This type of pot-shaped Zulu basket is called Ukhamba, which means vessel, calabash, or fellowship. It is created from ilala palm fronds tightly wrapped around coiled grass. The palm leaves are naturally waxy and swell when wet, properties that help render the Ukhamba watertight. When liquid is added a bit will leak though and evaporate, keeping the contents cool. These days, these magnificent baskets are more likely to be used as art pieces than as vessels, but they are as important as ever to the Zulu as their sale provides critical income to the weavers.
About the brand: Ilala Weavers is a family-owned business located in the Kwazulu Natal region of South Africa. Founded in the early 1970s, it is now the largest wholesaler of handwoven crafts in South Africa, specializing in traditional Zulu baskets but also carrying beadwork, handmade paper products, and other crafts. It has played an important role in preserving and promoting traditional Zulu weaving skills.