Social enterprise Vikapu Bomba works with underserved artisan women based in rural communities within the southern highlands of Tanzania. It strives to help them preserve artisanal traditions that have been passed down for several generations. Artisans who work with Vikapu Bomba are organized into producer groups and make intricately handwoven products including baskets. They develop and learn skills such as accounting, quality control, and group management while earning a sustainable income. The income generated also greatly benefits the local economy. Artisans can work from the comfort of their own home and community.
Iringa baskets are an indispensable utility item of Tanzania’s Hehe people. The Iringa region has a long history of basket weaving, making them a part of the rich history. The baskets can take anywhere from at least one to three weeks to create, depending on the size and design. First, the milulu grass, which is a local reed-like grass, must be harvested along certain rivers in Tanzania’s southern highlands. This often requires taking long walks to collect the grass and then carrying it back to the local village. After it has been harvested, the grass is set to dry in the sun to prepare it for weaving. Once the milulu grass is properly dried, an artisan weaves the basket by hand, carefully intertwining the traditional patterns and creating a beautiful piece that is durable and made to last.