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Still Eagle
Baba Tree Basket Weavers-
Fair trade, training and political intrigue!

Our favorite Fair Trade supplier
has a big adventure!

Many of you know and love the beautiful and incredibly functional baskets that we get from the Baba Tree Basket Company in Ghana.

The Baba Tree provides the highest quality woven baskets. The weavers are paid fairly for creating these gorgeous and practical works of art, and the proceeds from the Baba Tree support entire communities in one of the poorest areas of the world.

Getting Even Better

Twenty Baba Tree weavers are just returning home from a trip to the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India to learn new techniques and designs!

They travelled there on the invitation of the Government of India, as part of an initiative to "reach out to the grassroots" in five African countries -- Ghana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Ethiopia -- to bring them to the prestigious National Institute of Design.

After the Baba Tree weavers settle in at home from their amazing journey, they will train other weavers in Bolgatanga so that a large part of the Bolga weaving industry will benefit from the Government of India's incredible generosity.

Another two week workshop will be held in Bolgatanga in January or February, where designers from the National Institute of Design and the trained weavers will be imparting the techniques taught and learned to a wider weaving community in Bolgatanga.

The Adventure of a Lifetime

Many of the weavers invited to participate had never left their home region in Ghana before -- let alone travelled overseas. So the invitation to make the journey to India was met with understandable excitement.

But making the trip happen wasn't without its challenges!

At one point shortly before departure, Gregory, the founder of the Baba Tree Basket Company, was arrested and momentarily detained on (very) trumped up charges of "human trafficking" -- all for planning their trip to India!

Fortunately, several of the weavers staged a sit-in at the police headquarters and demanded that Gregory be allowed to "traffic" them on their once-in-a-lifetime journey.

In the end, this political intervention -- by the Baba Tree weavers themselves -- prevailed and they were able to make their long-awaited trip to India!

After the team's arrival in India, they had many more adventures of the more positive kind, including a surprise celebration at the Hyatt and many hours of fabulous workshops with the designers at the National Institute of Design. You can see more amazing photos and watch how their adventure unfolded on the Baba Tree Facebook page.

Watch the Baba Tree grow!

We're excited to see the new styles of basket that will come from the talented Baba Tree weavers, and we wish
them the very best in experimenting with what they learned in India!

For now, we carry four styles of Baba Tree Basket in several sizes, from the complex double-weave Nyringa to the lovely round-bellied Pot Basket, as well as sun hats. Who knows what kinds of baskets we'll get next!!

December 20, 2013

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