This small, finely woven prestige basket (igiseke) unites utilitarian function and aesthetic beauty. With its characteristically cone-shaped lid, this igiseke features an attractive stepped design, providing a striking contrast between the dark and natural tones. The coiling basketry technique has been used to produce the distinctive form of this miniature igiseke, and dark dye - derived from the black sap obtained from boiling banana flowers - was used by Tutsi basketry makers to create decorative patterns which alternate and contrast against the pale gold colour of the natural fibre.
Prestige igiseke baskets were made by highly skilled aristocratic Tutsi women. Miniature, intimate-sized baskets were made primarily to be offered as gifts. and displayed in the traditional dwelling as emblems of affluence, wealth and social importance.
Estimated Period: 1930's
Ex Private Collection Belgium
(Click on images to enlarge)