These beautiful baskets represent on integral part of Zulu culture that almost disappeared with the introduction of enamels, tin and plastic utensils. They have a wide variety of uses both in the house and for ceremonial purposes.
Larger baskets were used to store beer (the grass would swell with the moisture from the beer thus making the basket watertight). Smaller baskets, called herb baskets, were used to store herbs prescribed by the herbalist or Inyanga.
The baskets are woven from the Ilala palms and the colour is obtained from natural dyes from bark, berries, leaves, clay, roots and dung.
The patterns on the baskets can vary enormously. Diamonds signify femininity (daughters or female calves). Triangles represent sons or bull calves which are an important part of Zulu culture as they are used to measure wealth.
Zigzag designs suggest the regiments of war as they depict the silhouette of the battle shields in formation.
The first 5 pictures below are a guide as to the stock we carry and the approximate prices. Below that are special pieces which we have selected for the website.
We are a large wholesaler of Zulu baskets : trade enquiries are welcome. Please contact us should you require further information.