All images: Angeline Masuku
The first Selvedge World Fair takes place online, 3 – 5 September 2020. On the blog, in the run up to the virtual event - a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity – we will profile some of the 100 artisans taking part. During the event you will be able to buy handmade treasures, take part in online workshops and watch and participate in textile talks hosted by makers. Today, we look at the work of Angeline Bonisiwe Masuku, Zulu basket maker from South Africa. Made from woven Ilala palm leaves and natural dyes, Angeline’s practical and ornamental baskets will be on sale at the fair.
Angeline started her business in 1995 producing palm woven products. All items are made from palm and grass of different sizes and shapes, to create woven baskets, placemats, wall-hangings, laundry baskets, jewellery boxes and traditional chairs. The baskets are coloured traditionally with natural dyes and historical patterns. Although Angeline is the sole director of her company, a family business, she has managed to create employment for a least 30 women, producing Amaquthu baskets within the Empembeni Area.
Angeline hails from the rural area of KwaZulu Natal, in an Area called Mpembeni in Hlabisa. The third of 10 siblings in her family, she learnt the art of weaving baskets early, aged eight. Angeline was taught by her late aunty, Khawulina Ngcwensa, and in return when she was 18 years, she taught her siblings. Initially craft work was meant for vocational studies, but for Angeline and numerous other women it turned out to be a way to alleviate poverty. Angeline learned the art of storytelling through pattern, a skill which makes her basket-making distinctive and special.
Buy baskets from Angeline Bonisiwe Masuku at Selvedge World Fair, 3 – 5 September.
For more information and to buy tickets to access shopping, workshops and talks, visit www.selvedge.org.