Thursday, November 12, 2015

Turkana Basket Making 101

A few weeks ago I spent my mornings at the home of a church member learning how to make Turkana baskets. She is a good teacher and I know that she makes quality baskets. I think that's why she assisted me more than I wanted. By the time I came back on the second day she had almost finished the basket. I was able to learn how to finish the edge of that basket and start the lid. Then I actually did the starts on 2 more baskets, so I could practice. I am working on the second of those starts for a basket that is actually mine. I hope to have a small basket done by the time I come home... or at least a trivet... or coaster!

I have also posted a video that my language helper did while we were working. Click here to view it.

Leaves dried and ready to be used

Beginning the basket

Taking shape

Learning the pattern of wrapping the leaf strip

It is like making a figure 8 knot around the rows of leaves

Margaret my teacher

She had to keep telling me to keep it very tight

Margaret's neighbor making beads

End of day 1 ready for the side

Day 2 and my basket is almost done when I came back. 

At least I got to learn to finish the top edge 

Cutting the strips

One more time around

Almost done

Making it look pretty by removing stray pieces

Starting the lid

Lid taking shape

The kids enjoyed watching and helped translate

Finished lid

Large enough for my supplies, but
Margaret said it should be my "sadaka" (offering) basket

My first basket start. I took it home with me, so
Margaret wouldn't finish it before I came back the next day. 

My start with Margarets basket

Ali wanted to help

The moving leaves were too tempting for her

My second start

This one is better and will be my basket

Palms in our yard that I will use

Sometimes it is fun to whack things with my "panga" (machete)!

I was warned to take the thorns off, but they got me
before I had a chance. Small, but ouch!

Separating the strips and ready to use 

1 comment: