Iringa baskets are made in the Iringa region of Tanzania by the Hehe people who are famous for the plaited basketry as opposed to the coiled basketry technique. This technique includes forming the top edge and then working down, row by row. Sometimes a clay pot is used to shape the basket properly which is then broken when the basket is complete. The raw material for these baskets is mlulu grass, a reed-like grass.
Basket making occurs in the dry season after the harvest is done and usually by women. The baskets are used primarily for food storage and transporting agricultural products. Among educated Tanzanians between the ages of 25-35, unemployment rates as high as 70 percent. By teaching these highly motivated individuals to start small workshops and create handicrafts, they help create work and hope in their region.
Each basket is 12” d x 9” h and weighs 22.75 ounces. To repair unraveling fiber, rewind or weave and hold in place with a dab of glue.