How is an African Moses Basket Made? Check This Out

Basket weaving is one of the oldest forms of art. In fact, the manufacture and use of basket weaving in Ghana date back to centuries ago. Like everything else during the olden days, Bolga Moses baskets were originally created for personal use.

Farming was the primary source of income in Ghana. But changes in climate forced the people of Ghana to shift from farming to basket weaving. As the international demand for these beautiful African bassinets grew, so does the improvement of age-old techniques that make each one unique.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So, for anyone who is curious about the nuts and bolts of an African Moses basket, read on to learn about how they’re made.

Materials used in Crafting a Moses Basket

The materials used for these eco-friendly bassinets have changed over the years. Some manufacturers have added plastics and metals to make the baskets sturdier. We prefer our products au natural that’s why we only use materials that have been utilized in the olden times, like elephant grass, plant pigments as dyes, and hides for handles.

Elephant grass or Napier grass are harvested then dried. Once they’re dry, they’re split by teeth then rolled by hand to create texture.

Some straws are left in their natural color (known as “amgapire”), while most are dyed.  The bundles of straws are placed in clay pots with boiling water and plant dyes of artisan’s chosen color. While it’s being “cooked,” a brick is placed on top to prevent the straw from floating.

Weaving Process

The artisan would first choose the straws that will be used for the base, sides, handles, and rims. The artisans start weaving the base of the Moses basket first, working their way up to the rim in one fluid weaving motion.

We do require tight-weaving to make our baskets sturdier. We also request our artisans to smoothen the entire surface during the finishing process.

There’s really little to no room for error when it comes to this laborious task. If the weaver does commit a mistake, the weaver has to backtrack along the row until she finds the error that needs to be fixed.

Moses basket designs

We give our master weavers carte blanche when it comes to the design. We believe in their abilities and take pride in their skills. We can confidently say that we have never been disappointed with the results.

Each artisan has their own way of crafting a design according to the skills that she has acquired over the years. The patterns vary per weaver. The most commonly used patterns are geometric, swirls, checkerboard, stripes, floral, and zigzags.

With the talent that these women possess, it’s not uncommon for them to produce patterns that mimic pop culture images or even famous symbols.

Once done, each of our Bolga Moses baskets is cleaned, packed, and shipped to its intended user. Our process looks simply when broken down into three categories, but in reality, it’s really a long, arduous job. We commend our artisans for doing exemplary work. They all share our goal of producing the best Bolga Moses baskets that money can buy.