These lovely bark cloth purses are both cute and convenient! They feature a long shoulder strap and two zipper pouches.
Large: Features a long shoulder strap, two zipper pouches, and measures approximately 6 1/2" w x 7 1/2" h.
Small: Features a long should strap, one zipper pouch, and measures approximately 6" w x 6" w.
These beautiful bark cloth purses are made by Lydia and her team in Uganda. When we met Lydia, she was skilled in making bark cloth but had no one to buy her products. At Rafiki's request, she agreed to teach some of the ladies in our widows program how to make bark cloth and, after spending time with the widows and learning about Jesus, Lydia became a Christian!
Now, Lydia is actively involved in her local church and, along with the widows she teaches, studies the Rafiki Bible Study as they make bark cloth.
What is bark cloth? Bark cloth has been manufactured in Uganda for centuries. It takes strength, stamina, and practice to make traditional Ugandan bark cloth. The makers of this surprisingly soft and supple material first scrape away the outer bark of fig trees called mutuba (usually Ficus natalensis), then slit the inner bark with a knife and peel it upward off the tree.
They boil the bark in large pans of water to soften it, and then pound it for several hours with heavy wooden mallets until it is much thinner, wider, and softer. This pounding technique gradually increases the size of the cloth from an original width of approximately 18 inches to between two to three meters. The cloth is then sun dried where it darkens to a ruddy brown while the exposed trunk is wrapped in banana leaves for a few days to protect it as new bark grows for another harvest. Once it has dried, the cloth is ready to be used.