Artisan Focus - Baba Tree woven baskets
I always think of woven baskets as the 'entry point' into the world of African artisan homewares. Often clients will discover us for our basket collection and it is their first purchase with us... and so the woven obsession begins. Once they've exhausted their basket fix (laundry, dog, storage, wall hangings - the possibilities are endless!) they then venture further into the incredibly intricate world of woven homewares - be it cane furniture, lighting, mirrors, tables... but back to baskets, one of my first loves and an artisan story that is rich in Ghanian culture and hertiage craftsmanship...
Our Artisan partners
Our baskets are made throughout Africa, showcasing the differences in regional designs, skills and also indigenous plant materials from which the baskets are woven - from grasses to reeds.
Baba Tree is one of our artisan basket partners, based in Bolgatanga in Ghana’s Upper East Region, it is an area renowned worldwide for its woven baskets, with the round, squat market baskets often referred to as 'Bolga' baskets for short. Traditionally they would have been used for storing and carrying produce but have become a global export to homes around the world for a range of practical and decorative uses.
Baba Tree was founded in the early Noughties by Gregory ‘Ayinedollah’ MacCarthy, a Canadian by birth who came to Ghana in the Nineties and now, through Baba Tree, provides a viable income 'without charity', to hundreds of local weavers as a global outlet for their expert skills. Over the last 20 years Baba Tree has become known locally as the benchmark in not only quality of basketry, but in ethical working conditions, pay and labour, and is the reason we chose to stock them here at HADEDA.
The slow craftsmanship of basket-weaving
Each expert weaver works on one basket from beginning to end, taking ownership over the dyeing of the natural grasses, design and pattern - finished with locally sourced leather straps and handles. A standard market basket can take 4+ days to dye and weave, with larger pieces such as the Jemima 10 Cows considerably longer.
We stock a range of Baba Tree baskets, including our popular dog baskets, laundry baskets and their signature 'wave baskets' (above). No two designs or colours are the same, as is the beauty in the unique artistry of basket weaving.