On our last full day in Vilankulo together, I took my parents to work with me. I had several important meetings with some new weaving groups in Inhassoro, the town just north of Vilankulo. So we hopped in the CARE car and I took them to the field.
It was a bit funny having them watch me ask questions in Portuguese, then have it translated to Xitswe (via the extentionist), but I know it was interesting for them to see some of the women I am working with. They even met one of my favorite weavers Fatima, who showed us a new basket design she’s come up with.
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Went to a little village called Murure to meet the basket weavers.
It was an interesting community because the whole group of women was significantly older than the other groups I’ve met with so far. Also, they have a different style of weaving Xindzalas.
Instead of using palm, they make the baskets out of a vine. The raw material is locally found, and the women prepare it by holding it with their toes and whittling off the bark, leaving a clean, white cording underneath. When they are done weaving the baskets are extra sturdy and awesome.
This little ancient woman just emerged from the bush, and slooooowwwwly made it over to sit under the tree and weave. She had an amazing face, and I wish I spoke Xitswe, the local dialect, just so I could have asked her some questions. However, she scowled at me so I must have been staring rudely. But it was hard to take my eyes off her.