By Hilary Rudnick
These Sisal baskets from Swaziland are all the rage worldwide
On MonkeyApple Art’s excursions around Africa in early 2017, we came across these handmade all natural sisal baskets and it was love at first sight. Growing up in Zimbabwe, baskets have formed an integral part of our functional and decorative environment but these baskets were something new and special! They were so perfectly woven, so finely designed with such rich colours we just had to have them!!!!!!
More than anything, we seek to support women in poor communities so we were delighted to learn that in 1985 Sheila Freemantle started Tintsaba, in Swaziland, as an income generating initiative for the local women of the region. From its humble beginnings with just 12 women weaving a small range of sisal products, Tintsaba now supports an estimated 1000 women all over Swaziland and has to has 20 internationally recognized Master Weavers.
For over 30 years, Tintsaba has been creating beautiful handmade products using Sisal, a succulent agave bush with large fleshy leaves that grows in Swaziland as a weed. Every step of the production is executed by hand using a fine coiling technique, with no chemicals. Inspired by nature in Swaziland, Tintsaba Sisal baskets are more than a designer item
The timeless aesthetics of Africa
Culture and tradition are woven into their unique design reflecting the timeless aesthetics of Africa. “All baskets are graded according to the level of mastery achieved by the weaver, one 9-inch diameter basket taking about 50 hours to weave in a meticulous and time-intensive process.”
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Each month we select a number of pieces to showcase the diversity and quality of our art. Here is just a selection of what we offer, all of which you can see in our shop.