I'm all up in the history, culture, and Afrocentric designs of our Black people.
We all know our Black people contributed much. So as far as the arts are
concerned, I would like to speak on that.
The Hand Woven Tall Zulu Ukhamba Basket with large design
This Zulu Basket is a tall rigid vessel sewn with a distinctive pattern.
The base color is brown, has a large repeating pattern of a diamond in brown, cream,
lilac/gray, red and chocolate. The top of the basket has stars in chocolate and
cream. THe checkered diamond is in cream and chocolate. IT's a very tight
weave, so it resists the water. The lid has been woven with a
color and design theme that compliment each other.
THe fact is that it was hand made in Kwazulu Natal South Africa.
Not just that ya''ll, there are many types of baskets in Africa.
Ukhama is the name they give the Zulu Beer Basket. A rigid bulb
shpaed container is also a watertight basket. The material used
in its making is the ILala Palm. It is used for sorghum beer on
ISICHUMO, is a basket with a bottle shaped that carries liquids. It many
times has a lid which fits over the neck as if it were a cap.
is a large basin shaped basket which gaters and carries grain.
The smaller bowls have the purpose of serving dry foods
like beans, fruit or nuts.
Materials Commonly used in Zulu basket weaving
Every basket is made by hand and uses raw materials.
The fronds of the ILala Palm are used to weave the fine,
watertight baskets, and dyes of vegetable origin to color the
palm. It can take up to an entire month to make a medium
sized basket that will distinctive in size, shape and pattern.
THe Zulu have their own particular style of custom craftwork that
really separates and distinguishes their culture.
THe most common type of colors used in Zulu Baskets are
natural colors that come from billing roots, leaves, berries and bark
of indigenous flora. They are mostly seasonal.
MOving on, here are the leave types and how they are taken care
The Brown Ububsende are palm leaves placed in muddy soil and
kept moist up to one week.
Black/Ominiyama- To start , these leaves are pre colored in river mud,
boiled for 8 hours in a mixture of water and leaves from a bushy tree
Lilac/Ubukhwebezane are leaves of a shrub crushed and boiled palm for
Pale red/Bomvu are the leaves of tai shrub, specie
of the Mphekam-bethu and bark of Mgwneya tree. They are
crushed together and boiled with palm for 2 days.
Coral Mgwenya are boiled with aloe roots for 4-6 hours.
Purple Umdoni, The palm of these is boiled with the skin of ripe
Umdoni Berries for a time range of 4-5 hours.
Burgundy/Isfixu, the Palm is boiled with the bark of the Marula tree
for 1-2 hours.
Orange/Xomisane Palm is boiled with the roots of a small plant
for 2-4 hours.
Mustard/ICena, the Palm is soaked for overnight with paste, wood,ash
and water and then boiled for 5-7 hours.
Grey/Uuba, the palm is soaked in black mud for up to 1 week.
See how nature is a treasure. Some people are in touch
with nature, some people like it, some people don't or some say it's so so.
But it's what you find in nature that really shows how stylish nature is.
Then it takes imagination, thinking and a love for design. Oh let me not
forget, special eyes who can determine these designs.