Women of Matabeleland
Women of Matabeleland is made up of 10 women from a small village in Zimbabwe. Since forming in 1994 they have been selling their baskets and woven products to support their families.
Traditionally, women produced crafts to supplement their income and to have a reason to gather and enjoy the craft as a hobby. However the onset of HIV/AIDS, along with longer periods of drought and poor crops has led to farmers and their families looking for alternatives to support themselves.
Today, these women are the sole breadwinners with their families depending on them for food and other survival basics. Weaving skills taught by community elders have been passed on through generations and enable these women to practice their craft and provide for their families.
Each piece is crafted entirely by hand with reeds harvested by nearby waterways. Entirely sustainable and bound using sisal twine from the surrounding area using 100% natural dyes that are made using bark, roots and leaves from local vegetation.
The women have been mentored by Jane Taylor, well known in Africa for her design skills.