by: Azizi Life
The Teardrop Basket is handcrafted by artisans of the Peace Baskets Cooperative using the same age-old techniques found in Rwanda’s national museum. Lightweight and delicately woven, this basket makes a beautiful display piece, or can be used to store various treasures! The Peace Basket artisans partner with an expert bamboo weaver who learned from his father before him. The bamboo weaver creates the inner frame for the basket, and then the grass weaver creates the beautiful exterior. So this is a two-stage, two-artisan basket. And the coloring process is amazing! Pascasie, the cooperative founder, taught us that the grasses are colored using a banana flower as an applicator. The flower’s blue sap bonds with the soot from the bottom of a cooking pot to color the grasses black. The rust color comes from the dust of a local rock, applied to the grasses with the banana flower. We love sharing this beauty with you from the heart of Rwanda. The teardrop basket’s beautiful design is reminiscent of the layers of sloping hills that make Rwanda’s landscape so gorgeous.
On the wall of Pascasie Mukamuligo’s home in Rusatira, Huye District, hang photos of two men. These, Pascasie explains, are her brothers. They, along with more than thirteen other family members, died in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. They were hunted and killed, most likely by their neighbors. But Pascasie is determined to be a different kind of neighbour. Tall and dignified, she chooses to stand for peace. To pray for peace. To work for peace. Pascasie is the president of the Peace Basket weaving cooperative. Under her leadership, community members from opposite sides of the genocidal conflict have joined to support one another in their art and their lives. The group meets together once per week to weave baskets and discuss issues like family, health, and reconciliation. And Pascasie has not stopped at that. Several years ago, she accepted an invitation by the government to go into the local prison to teach offenders – some of them thieves, vandals, and murderers of 1994 – to weave for peace and to support their families. Some of those men joined the Peace Basket Cooperative after their release. In 2016, the Reconciliation Year, Pascasie was selected by the Rwandan government as a hero in unity and promoter of reconciliation. And what is Pascasie’s vision for her group and community? We must continue to work for wholeness. We must continue to pray for peace.
"We must continue to work for wholeness. We must continue to pray for peace." -Pascasie Mukamuligo, President of the Agaseke k'Amahoro.
Each basket takes a week to make.
They are traditionally given as weddings gifts to the mother-in-law of a new bride.
Masterfully created, the lid snaps on by aligning it to the base from back to front.
Allows dignity to return in the lives of those who were previously unable to provide for their families.
Supports jobs for a cooperative of artisans in rural Rwanda.
Part of the Jesus' Economy shopping model, benefiting developing world communities.
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