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Modern Collector

Tutsi Basket


In both Rwanda and neighboring Burundi, woven basketry receptacles and architectural elements constituted the most widespread form of artistic expression. The variety of grasslike plants that served as the primary medium for such constructions was abundant throughout the region’s volcanic mountainous landscape. In Rwandan society, fiber items were key tools for farming activities, providing the necessary elements in the construction of granaries, beehives, or fishnets. Harvested crops were traditionally stored in large baskets whose shapes and sizes were customized for specific types of grains. Cattle-raising was one of the main sources of income for most Rwandans. A shepherd’s equipment included a milk jar covered by a basketry lid. The shelves that held these were also decorated with ornamental tapestries made of woven fibers. Fibers were also the prevalent component of clothing for farmers and members of the aristocratic elite alike until the 1920s, when imported textiles began to replace the fibers of traditional attire.



WIDTH (IN) 8.5
DEPTH (IN) 8.5


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