Wednesday, August 29 2018
With such striking designs and colours combined with the intricacy, accuracy and skill this craft takes these Zulu baskets never fail to impress . Each telephone wire basket is a unique, exquisite art piece.
Telephone wire basket weaving is an indigenous South African craft which has evolved from the extraordinary basket weaving skills of the Zulus. Using telephone wire to weave with was first started by night-watchmen who to allay the boredom of the long nights .
"Beginning in the late 1960's, Zulu night watchmen started weaving scraps of this wire around their traditional sticks. This new material was also applied to making izimbenge - beer pot covers - that had been traditionally made from grass and palm. Today, there is wide variety in the creative use of this wire, and, in post-Apartheid South Africa, Zulu craft artists are imbuing old forms with the colourful contemporary material of telecommunications. The result is a vibrant, distinctive new folk form gaining international attention."
Wired- Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets. David Arment
These telephone wire baskets were woven in the subsistence farming area of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa . No two Zulu baskets will be identical as each artisan draws on their own creativity to produce unique designs and patterns.