This South African Zulu Ukhamba basket is approximately 13" tall including the lid, and 12" in diameter at its widest point. It is pot shaped with a tight-fitting lid and has a geometric pattern in brown, cream and black. It comes with a card containing detailed information on Zulu baskets as well as the name of the weaver. If you purchase this Zulu basket you will receive the exact one pictured. This fair trade African basket is a one of a kind collector's item.
Zulu Ukhamba baskets, also called Zulu beer baskets or Zulu pot baskets, are among the premier handmade baskets in the world. These beautiful fair trade African baskets are woven from a type of wetland grass and Ilala palm leaves, and dyed with extracts from local vegetation. They are used in lieu of pottery for storing and transporting homemade beer and other liquids, and are commonly given as wedding presents. They are usually bulb-shaped with rigid walls, a remarkably tight weave, and a snug-fitting lid. Traditionally they are lined with a corn flour paste to render them watertight; however, ours are not sealed and should not be considered watertight. They are well suited for storing lentils and other dry goods, however.
These exceptional African baskets are collectible works of art and help rural Zulu families earn a fair wage. Zulu beer baskets should not be confused with Zulu herb baskets, which have a looser weave to allow air circulation and lack the rigidity of the beer baskets.
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.