African Zulu Illala Palm Baskets
are the largest tribe in South Africa, renowned for their basketry,
artistry and craftsmanship. Many women make beautiful baskets using
traditional art forms in order to supplement their incomes. For many
this is their only means of support. Women work in their homes,
assimilating basket weaving into their normal routines permitting them
to raise their children, work in the fields, collect water or do other
daily chores. Indigenous raw materials are used in making these
hand-woven baskets. It can take up to a month to produce a medium-sized
basket with its own unique size, shape and design. Each piece is a true
Each of these baskets is one of a kind and you will receive the piece pictured. After you place a basket in your shopping cart, it will be removed from inventory. If you look in your shopping basket (link at the top "basket contents"), you should see it there.
the links on the left to view our selection of these handmade baskets.
Symbols Used in Zulu Baskets
(one above the other)
(forming an hourglass)
("Assegais of Shaka")
("Shields of Shaka")
symbols are often combined
for family baskets. Frequently each family member will have their own
Family baskets are commonly used to store dried goods (i.e., nuts,
Colors Used in Zulu Baskets
are kept in muddy soil for
up to a week
Green & Khaki Brown (Mxuba)
are soaked and boiled in a
mixture of cow dung and water
are first precolored in river
mud and then boiled for 8 hours in a leaf and water mixture from the
are boiled in a mixture of
crushed shrub leaves and water.
are boiled for 2 days in a
mixture of crushed Tal shrub leaves and water.