I know its hard to take your eyes off my eggplants, but did you notice my eggplant basket in yesterday’s garden update?
I’ve got plenty of baskets around my house – they store shoes and crayons, linens and books. I’ve picked up baskets here and there that I love – from the weave to the color – but mostly I’ve chosen them for their utility.
I just might become a hang-your-baskets on the wall kind of person.
Photo from Macy’s
I just want to crawl right into this scene and start a new book near this fireplace – now that I’ve done a little homework, perhaps even a book about the stories of the Rwandan women who create such baskets. These baskets were created by weavers of the Rwanda Path to Peace project, an organization founded by an American businesswoman in 2005. Path to Peace, in partnership with Macy’s since 2005, has effectively created a global market for the weaving works of Rwandan women.
“In the wake of the (1994 Rwandan) Genocide, and woven by women from both sides of the bloodshed, their baskets had become symbols of peace.” - From Fairwinds Trading
You can “meet” some of the weavers on Macy’s Path to Peace site, watch videos and see actual letters (with translations) from the women whose lives have been changed through Path to Peace, how the “trade not aid” is allowing them to afford shelter, clothing, schooling, medical care and insurance for their families. I spent some very convincing minutes on the site – a wonderful way to inform your purchase and a myriad of good lessons to share with your children.
Ryan and I especially liked watching this 1 minute video of the process of weaving a basket, from gathering the raw materials to placing the final stitch.
It takes days to make a basket, thousands of repeated stitches like this one.
Photo from Fairwinds Trading
The designs are stunning and the handiwork obviously meticulous.
The Rwanda Path to Peace Collection is available in select Macy’s stores and on macys.com. Most of the baskets shown above retail for $50. Choose a fruit basket, grab one as a gift or design a wall (some more great basket walls on my Facebook page later today).