A unique project in the Western Cape to support and encourage traditional weaving in an urban area, using indigenous plants.
This is a unique project in the Western Cape. Traditionally basket weavers live in rural areas and this is the first time that traditional basket weavers residing in an urban area – and one that is particularly deprived – have formed themselves into a group. Innovative designs have been presented to the women and they have responded very well. They are strongly encouraged to use their own creativity.
Traditional weaving has been done in the Eastern Cape for centuries. Baskets, kneeling mats and sleeping mats are made by women for use in the home and in vegetable gardens. The traditional Ingobozi is a v-shaped basket which is carried on the head for carrying vegetables to and from the fields. It is made with Imizi (cyperus textilis) which is a river reed which grows profusely in the Eastern Cape.
The purpose of the weaving workshops are twofold, namely to improve the cash income of women of the Du Noon area and to stimulate the craft and skill of basket weaving.
Phase 1 was a success and was initiated and funded by the Economic Development Department of The City of Cape Town with the cooperation of the Environmental Resource Management Department. Phase 2 commenced 20th Jan 2014 under the same funding arrangements.
Phase 1 was headed up by Binky Newman of Design Afrika (product development), and she has continued into Phase 2 joined by Mara Fleischer (Designer), where Solly Levy will be handling the business training aspect of the workshops.
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