HANDWOVEN BASKETS FROM WESTERN UGANDA
Maadili Collective works directly with a cooperative of 400 women in Western Uganda. With a mission to help vulnerable women by providing opportunities for income, the Basket Cooperative sells crafts both locally and internationally. In addition to earning a fair income, women are provided an opportunity for education on other concerns for the betterment of their families - personal health, family planning, hygiene and HIV/Aids.
Meet the women
I have a husband and 4 children - 2 boys and 2 girls. Weaving baskets has helped me pay for my children to have books and go to school - I am the one that pays for my children to go to school because my husband is unemployed. He does the farming on a very small piece of land growing things for home consumption. If I was not weaving I would probably not have another job, I would be helping my husband to do the farming. Weaving provides an opportunity I wouldn't normally have in the village.
I have been weaving baskets for 6 years and it is this group which has made me what I am. The women in this group support each other- we share materials and dyes, and when I don't have a color, I will take my raffia to another member and they will dye for me and when I have the color I will help others to dye. In this group, I have women who are like sisters to me, they come and talk when I am lonely. I have one daughter and I love her so much, she is the biggest part of my life, she is my best friend, she is always there, the gift that God gave me.
I have had a very difficult life. I grew up an orphan without any parents so it is weaving that is what I am today. When I weave I am able to buy clothes and food for my child, as well as pay for school fees. I only have one child now- one passed away a few years ago soon after my husband left me. I had nowhere to go- it is only weaving that helped me to find a new home - without weaving I would have no home and no job. I love my child so much because it is what I have in this world. I have no parents - no mother, no father. I look at my child as everything in my life. I am the only one paying school fees and my wish is for my child to study hard so she is successful in school.
I have 5 children - all boys!
I have been weaving baskets for 9 years. The money from the weaving helps to support my children, helps to buy clothes, and pays some school fees. I want to learn everything about weaving- any training I can have is highly welcome! I would like to learn how to dye more colors - I know some natural color but I'd love to learn as much as I can. I enjoy a lot about weaving - designing and earning money for the good work I have done. My 5 boys love to play together and that’s what makes me happy. My boys are very intelligent! I hope that one day they finish school and become very respected people in the community.
I live with my husband and 8 children - 5 girls and 3 boys. I have been weaving baskets for 6 years. If I wasn’t weaving baskets I would have little opportunity to make a living in my village. My husband is not responsible; I cannot leave my children in his hands to take care of them. Weaving baskets has helped me to earn a living and pay school fees. Before I started working with the cooperative the children were not going to school. I enjoy weaving and working with the other women in the group. We encourage each other - I used to be hopeless about the future but the women encourage me to work hard to weave more baskets to earn money.
My mother taught me how to weave baskets and I have been weaving now for 4 years. Before weaving baskets and joining this cooperative, I never used to earn a living but now I am earning money to pay school fees for my children. I have a very small piece of land that doesn't produce enough food, so the extra income also helps to feed my family. My husband is disabled- he has one hand and is unable to do much farming. The women in the group bring me hope by comforting me when I have a problem and reminding me that when we weave we get money and that problem will be over. They keep promising me that if we keep weaving, one day it will be okay. They comfort me, talk to me. I look at these women as my sisters.
Our lives have been forever changed by working with these talented weavers. We are driven to tell their stories and sell their beautiful crafts.
HANDCRAFTED HORN PRODUCTS
Our horn artisans purchase horns directly from the cattle keepers, providing revenue for local cattle keeping communities in Uganda and promotes a wide range of high quality handmade contemporary horn products.
Cow horns are ethically and environmentally sourced to recycle a byproduct from the food industry and prevent it from ending up in landfill. Nothing goes to waste.
The Ankole-Watusi, also known as Ankole Longhorn, is a breed of cattle native to Uganda’s western region. Its large distinctive horns can reach up to 8 ft from tip to tip.
Horns are repurposed to make jewelry and home accessories that are beautiful and unique.
The beauty of horn is displayed in the variations of color and tone - ranging from creamy white to caramel to black.
Like everything in nature, no two finished pieces are exactly the same.