Traditional Ghanaian Basket: An Ancient Art Still Relevant Today

If you are looking for an eco-friendly and unique way to make a stylish statement, the colourful U Shopper and Market Baskets from North East Ghana are certainly worth consideration.  In this blog we explain where our colourful U Shopper baskets come from, who makes them and how they are made.

Ghanaian baskets continue to be handcrafted by weavers using traditional techniques.  These techniques have been passed down through generations of families in villages and communities in and around Bolgatanga.  This area of Ghana is famous for the colourful craft work that is produced, from baskets, hats and leather ware.  

Colourful baskets stacked together.

The Raw Materials

The baskets are woven from a native grass called the Veta-vera, also called  Elephant Grass. The grass is sustainable and has adapted to the hot semi arid climate and soil conditions of Northern Ghana.  The grass withstands drought and other environmental stresses, thanks to the deep root system that helps to retain moisture.  It regenerates quickly and is resilient, flourishing in poor soil conditions where other grasses would be less well suited too.   

Man splitting grass before weaving basket

The Craftsmanship

Weaving the baskets is a labour of love and takes up to three days.  The process is undertaken completely by hand.  To begin the grass is cut down, gathered and split before being laid out and dried under the hot Ghanian sun.  When the grass is completely dry artisans from the villages then hand-dye them in an array of vibrant and joyful colours.  

Ghanian artisan weaving traditional Bolga Basket

The weaving process uses a traditional coiling technique, with the artisans adding intricate patterns and details to give each basket its distinct look. The final stage in the process is attaching the rim and handles to the main body of the basket.   

I hope you enjoy this YouTube video we found that illustrates the process of making these beautiful baskets.  

Practical, durable these slow fashion baskets from Bolgatanga make for an eye-catching accessory.  So, if you enjoy supporting traditional craft and love baskets, maybe one of these should be on your wish list!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post