In the modern world, African baskets are hot goods with collectors and designers. The term itself is misleading. "African" denotes a whole continent and thousands of different peoples and nationalities. To say that a basket is an authentic "African" product, it is like saying that a French basket is an authentic "European". Africa baskets are as varied and diverse as humans.
The people of the Zulu tribe in South Africa have long used to collect the basket and many religious ceremonies. The most commonly used materials in the basket are Ilala Palm and Ncebe, the bark of wild banana trees. The two are intertwined to make the basket more colorful because the palm itself is naturally a smooth cream color.
Certain berries, plants, roots and other ingredients are used to create the paints used in the Zulu basket. The roots of brown and black hot wood are made for several days, while purple and blue are the source of Umdon berries. The coral comes from the aloe plant, and the orange comes from a small root that they cook. The bark and burgundy extract from the bark of the Marula tree, while pink and purple are made from the leaves of a small bush. Yellow comes from a combination of wood ash and water, while gray is made from plants that are soaked in mud for at least one week. The Khaki green comes from an even more unusual source of cow manure, which is cooked with palm leaves.
Zulu Basket Manufacturers also create special patterns in the threads of these containers, which indicate specific things. For example, a triangle pattern in a Zulu basket is "masculine", while a double triangle is "married man". "Feminine" is represented by a diamond, and a double diamond means "married woman". A good lucky and welfare basket will have a square or point on it. The baskets were especially woven for the bride on the wedding day. He gives this basket to his new husband to drink beer. The portrayal of marriage goes into the threads to capture the event for future generations. Other stories popular in Zulu baskets include a range of diamonds that represent the lacy pattern of "Shaka Shields" and "Shaka Assegais".
Zulu baskets have several different styles. As mentioned earlier, there is a beer basket that is specially watertight. Open baskets are available for food collection.
Although these baskets are still used occasionally and in religious ceremonies, Zulu basketball makers have found a floral shop for their talent in selling their products. European and American consumers are willing to pay extravagant prices for these authentic "African" baskets. In many cases, this income can be the only money a family has, so the basketball players usually sell their products while maintaining the same quality as the Zulu basketball artists have been through for generations.