Product Spotlight: Zulu Wire Baskets
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The Zulu people of South Africa have a long tradition of high quality basket weaving, as evidenced by the spectacular Ukhamba baskets. In recent years, they have added a modern twist with the use of telephone wire. It is thought that Zulu men working as security guards began using scrap wire to decorate their batons, and from there branched out into basket weaving. Whatever the origins, the baskets are now made with new wire sourced from factories, including plastic wire as well as bare copper and silver wire. Telephone wire baskets are woven from the rim down, and typically a cup, bowl, or other household item is used as a form to weave around and then is removed at the end of the process. The result is a symmetrical basket with rigid walls that can be easily cleaned, and typically is longer lasting than a natural fiber basket.