This large prestige basket has been finely woven from grass fibre into a distinctive form, with a characteristically cone-shaped lid. The body of the basket features a beautiful darker-coloured zig-zag design which contrasts against the gold-coloured hue of the un-dyed grass fibre.
Prestige igiseke baskets such as this would have been made by highly skilled aristocratic Tutsi women. In Tutsi society, basketry weaving was a communal activity, which occurred during recreational evening gatherings to the sound of the harp. Miniature, intimate-sized baskets were made primarily to be offered as gifts. Subsequently, prestige baskets would have used to store precious objects such as the pipe of the master of the house, or displayed in the home as emblems of affluence and social importance.
Estimated period: First Half of 20th Century
Ex Private Collection, Belgium
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