The basket making process is collaborative, with tasks spread out to various groups. One group is charged with harvesting the sisal, a difficult job as the fronds need to be kept clean in order to accept the dye evenly. They harvest the heart (center) of the sisal plant where the fiber is softer and lighter in color. Then, using a spade, the fronds are separated, ready for spinning.
The fronds are examined, separated again as needed then spun into fine fiber, trimmed for rough spots then handed over to the dyers who choose from a palette of 22 colors.
Finely ready to commence weaving, starting with the very center of the basket, wrapping the fine threads around grasses, or coils, and weaving the dyed sisal in between the round of coils.
Each weaver has her own design in mind and their individual artistry is a source of pride.
Where In The World Eswatini is a land locked nation of 1.3 million people. It’s one of the few remaining true monarchies whose king, while celebrating the nation's 50th anniversary from Great Britain in 2018, changed the name of the country from Swaziland to Eswatini in an effort to eliminate a colonial era relic.