Posts tagged ‘botswana’
Last night was the First Friday Art Walk, and we took the opportunity to showcase a selection of beautiful baskets from the women of the Etsha Weavers Group in Botswana.
Botswana is a landlocked country about the size of France, with a landscape dominated by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. Although Botswana is potentially a wealthy country, the majority of its population remains rural and poor, without many opportunities for employment.
From Botswana’s harsh environment and natural resources a vast tradition of craft making has grown. These products continue to be made and used, making Botswana one of the largest remaining sources of traditional African crafts. Today, the increased production and sale of crafts for a commercial market provides the rural people of Botswana with a much needed source of cash income.
The most famous of all the craft products of Botswana is the basket. As an integral part of the Botswana agricultural culture, baskets have been made and used traditionally for thousands of years. The main producers of baskets are the women of the Bayei and Hambukushu tribes in northwestern Botswana.
Our Botswana baskets are woven by the 24 talented women of the Etsha Weavers Group who have many years of weaving experience. We’ve already added some to our online store – more will be added over the next few days.
It’s almost here! Just 24 hours to go and we’re getting excited!
It’s been a long month; falling on the 7th means that this has been the longest gap between First Friday Art Walks that we’ve experienced. Of course, that has just meant even more time for procrastination to set in, the ‘to do’ list to get shuffled and reshuffled, and all the ‘must do’s’ to get completed even later than usual!
We’ve got a great evening in store at Global Fayre:
1 – Kiva Awareness
We’ve been lending through Kiva for some time now, but felt the time was right to step it up a notch. We’re using the Art Walk to promote awareness of Kiva, encourage people to make Kiva loans (in or out of the Global Fayre Lending Team) and to raise funds through purchases. Each purchase (no matter how small) will generate a $1 donation to Kiva. As we reach each $25 milestone, we’ll make the loan there and then, with people in the store making the decision about where the loan should go.
2 – Beautiful Baskets from the Etsha Weavers Group of Botswana.
Friday ses the launch of a month-long show for these wonderful baskets. They are simply the finest we’ve seen since opening the store, and it’s a delight to be able to share then with our customers.
The evening starts at 6pm and will go on until at least 10pm.
We just got our first shipment of Ostrich Egg jewelry, made by the San Bushmen Women of the Kalahari.
Ostrich eggshell beads are considered the first beads humans ever made, dating back over 50,000 years, with the San Bushmen women being the last people to make these beads as part of their tradition.
How the ostrich eggshell beads are made:
1.) The first step is to break the ostrich eggshells into chips.
2.) Then each chip is made round by a springbok horn or nail clippers-whichever is readily available.
3.) Next, a hole is started in each chip with a hand-drill then punched through with a small awl.
4.) Next the drilled chips are strung and laid across a wooden board. 5.) Using a whetstone, the chips are hand polished. The strings are wet, rubbed, then, wet some more. Through this tedious and strenuous task the rough chips are transformed into lovely luminous beads.
We sourced this beautiful jewelry from Celicia at Women’s Work, a fellow member of the Fair Trade Federation. Like many other products that we have managed to find over the past two years, this jewelry is great example of finding a market for a local tradition, using local (and sustainable) materials and giving a real sense of empowerment to the people of the region.
The purchase of these beads helps to preserve the San culture, bringing much-needed income to women deep in the heart of the Kalahari in Botswana.