After the genocide finished, these widows were left to pick up the pieces, and somehow make a new life. With their husbands dead, the widows from the Hutu and Tutsi Tribes came together and made peace. By weaving baskets together these women found a way of healing in something that has been a part of Rwandan culture for centuries. The design woven onto the basket that is pictured on the left symbolizes two hands joined together. The widows chose this design because it symbolized forgiveness, peace, and unity by drawing two opposing sides who had suffered so much, together. The weaving and selling of these baskets to Western markets has gained the Rwandan widows economic independence and improved their local communities.
Now, 24 years later, 50% of homes in Rwanda are run by women. The women in this country still live in extreme poverty. Often $1.25 a day or less is what they have to feed and shelter themselves and their children. They are slowly rebuilding. The Rafiki Exchange has partnered with these very women, and are selling their baskets in our Local Exchanges, on our Online Exchange, and our new Etsy Shop. We are passionate about helping these widows support themselves and their children.
This is basket was handwoven by a widow in Rwanda. This is a great decorative item. You can hang it on the wall or set it on your coffee table. Not only is it beautiful on it's own, but it also is very functional too. Leave it on your kitchen counter and turn it into a fruit basket, place your car keys in it, or sit knick knacks in it that you don't want strewn around the counters!
This is a handwoven basket from Rwanda. Though it's small in size, this basket is quality made, sturdy, and is sure to stand the test of time. The blue and dark brown strands woven in with the natural grass add just enough for a lovely pop of color, while still being neutral. A use for this basketcould be for holding washcloths, or even to set on display in your living area. This product is the very definition of the word versatile.
Since each and every product is handmade, each product is unique and special. That being said, size may slightly vary. This basket is roughly 5 inches in height and 6 inches in width.
Handwoven by widows in Rwanda, these Peace Baskets have a special story.
The Rwandan Genocide in 1994 left over 800,000 killed in 3 months. With their husbands dead, and their children slaughtered before their eyes, the widows of the two opposing sides came together and made these baskets. Peace Baskets. And in unity, these women are trying to rebuild their lives together.