WHO WE ARE
Our aim is to provide unique statement pieces from African Diaspora nations that spark dialogue, awareness, and ultimately travel to these incredible places. We also feature accessories*
that our founder, Abena, never leaves home without!
So here is our challenge:
When complimented on your new favorite accessory, be sure to share a bit about its origin or where you hope to take it on your next vacation! You can find some interesting facts about your purchase below.
WHERE WE SOURCE OUR BAGS
These genuine Bolga baskets are exclusively woven by the indigenous Gurune (also known as Frafra) people around the town of Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana.
Bolga is the crafts center of Northern Ghana. For many generations, weaving has been a traditional skill of the people there. The soil around Bolgatanga is not fertile enough for extensive agricultural activities. The region has an erratic rainfall pattern and generally harsh weather conditions. As a result, handicraft activities such as basket weaving, leather work, and pottery are undertaken mostly by women to supplement their incomes since they are primarily subsistence farmers.
HOW THEY ARE MADE
• Veta vera straw, known locally as kinkahe, is collected from the tops of the grass stalk, then each piece is split in half vertically.
• Each half of the split straw is then twisted tightly by rolling it back together to give it strength.
• The straw is put in bunches and dyed in boiling water. For bright colors the straw is dyed yellow first, then the color.
• The weaver carefully selects appropriate straw for the base, sides and handle. The selection of the proper grass for various parts of the basket is critical to good weaving.
• Weaving starts at the base and works up to the rim. The rims are generally finished flat, or wrapped with straw to form a tube like edge.
• There are a variety of different handles, but all are made with a sturdy wrapping technique around a grass core.
• Remaining bits of straw that are sticking out of the basket are carefully trimmed off.
• Leather handles are skillfully applied by local leather workers.
• A medium basket takes about 3 days. Some shapes and patterns are more difficult to weave and take longer.
* At this time, other accessories on this site are resold from a wholesaler. We suspect, like much of fashion manufacturing, they are made in China. We are unaware of the sustainability of these pieces however we are actively looking to partner with expert weavers in Ghana or South Africa to create these accessories.