Holidays Are Coming!
Ah, the season! What to get, what to give; it is hard to figure out gifts for a long list of people.
Every year, I am sure to do the same sort of thing, being such a huge basket fan. I don’t mean this to be a spoiler for my gift-getters, but I love to fill a gift basket with treats of all sorts- this year, I have homemade jelly, my favorite chocolate, a little card and some cookies we will make. While the fillings will be consistent for each gift, I will pick the basket to suit the person to whom I am gifting.
I love making my gift baskets; I wrap a ribbon around the handles, and dangle a tag. They look so lovely under the tree!
Ghanaian Baskets now in stock
The village of Bolgatanga is the capital of the upper east region of Ghana and sits between Burkina Faso and Togo Historically, this village of about 50,000 is very close to the convergence of the ancient Trans-Saharan trade route and the Sahelian route from Mali via Burkina Faso. Bolgatanga is known as the crafts center of Northern Ghana, with its surrounding villages comprising the largest producers of leather works and straw baskets in the country.
Continuing this ancient craft tradition we have designed a collection of baskets for the contemporary American home. The vibrant colors and intricate weaving have combined with the new designs and given the baskets a whole new look which is unique and exciting.
Check out the full collection. The weaving is beautiful and the colors are very unusual for Bolga baskets. Let me know what you think.http://www.medinabaskets.com/categories/categories-baskets-for-garden/products/nat-accra-basket—2
I am John Wilson, the founder of Medina Baskets and Nomad clothing, and I want to share with you the richness and texture of our products and our experiences. I am new at this, so please be patient with me if I get carried away or if I repeat myself. I am just a simple merchant with an anthropology background who ended up traveling and trading in different parts of the world, and now I am in the basket business.
Products are more than just commodities: they are the encapsulation of lifestyles and attitudes, both of the producer and the consumer, and we try to add to both sides of the equation.
Our baskets are all hand-made using ancient indigenous craft techniques so they have a texture not found in mass-produced items. We believe that establishing a dynamic business for these items is vital to the continuation of the crafts, and so we combine these techniques with contemporary design to for a modern consumer who is discerning about what he owns and what he/she shows to the world.
In the following few posts I will go into details about the history and production of our products to give you a fuller picture of our philosophy. You can buy a bag to carry stuff for very little money, or you can have a more authentic experience that resonates with the history and creativity that says so much more.
I look forward to your feedback.
MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY
Medina combines traditional skills of artisan communities from around the world with contemporary design to present a unique collection of beautiful baskets to the American market.
Our baskets have an impressive historical provenance. From date palm harvesting in North Africa to trade routes of sub- Saharan Africa: from the mountains of southern Mexico to the plains of Bangla Desh we work with small scale producers and co-ops, sustaining ancient crafts and ways of life and producing beautiful baskets for home and personal use.
We work in three areas of Morocco, each of which produces baskets with a very individual character.
From the area around Fez in the north we get baskets that have been made in the same way for centuries to package and transport dates throughout North Africa. ( HB weave) When the dates were harvested the baskets were made from the discarded leaves of the date palm and used to store and transport the dates.
In this picture by Velazquez painted in 1617 the basket on the wall is the same as our baskets from this region.
The (FW) woven baskets from the coastal region near Essouira are an adaptation of a very old technique for making floor mats for houses and mosques. The looms are on the floor with a warp made from the braided leaves of a bamboo-like plant called Smar and the weft is the strands of the same plant. Smar grows like a weed in the area and is used for dividing fields, so it is a plentiful and renewable material.
The (SB) baskets from the region of Marrakech are made from the leaves of the Washingtonia palm which grows in great profusion in the oases of central Morocco. This is an ancient craft unique to this area, and once again the materials are renewable and sustainable.