The XL baskets are made by Raymond Adongo, a Sr. Weaver, that learned his trade from his father, and his father's father. He travels a 3-day journey from Accara to the Bolgatanga region in northern Ghana to harvest the Elephant Grass and then brings it back to Accara where he sells his baskets in the market.
Ghana Bolga Handbasket
The Bolgatanga district has passed down the technique of basket weaving for generations, using the local veta vera straw to make the baskets. For the bolga baskets, the veta vera straw, also called elephant grass, is collected from the tips of the grass stalks and then each piece is split vertically into two halves. Each half of the split straw is then tightly twisted through by rolling it together to give it strength. Unless the veta vera straw is left in its natural coloring for a basket or pattern, it is dyed in boiling water, often in bright colours, before weaving. Once the material has been prepared, the basket weavers start with the bottom of the basket and build up the sides towards the top. The edges of the bolga baskets are generally flat or wrapped with straw to form a tubular rim. There are different variations for the handles of the baskets, all of which the weavers make with a robust wrapping technique around a grass core. Any leftover straw that sticks out of the basket is cut off in the last step.