People behind the products

Sisal- Kiondo Trush Basket without straps for office use

Baobab kiondo Baskets with leather straps

"Please note the sizes of our beautifully made sisal Baskets noted in our website range from:

1)  8" Base x 8" Height
2) 10" Base x 10 " Height
3) 10" Base x 12" Height
4) 12" Base x 12"Height
5) 12" Length x 12" Height x 4.5" Width
6) 12" Length x 12" Height x 8" Width

We have a well established network with skilled crafts producer groups at the grass-roots level who are able to produce high quality products of any quantities and patterns/colors  as our various clients may require from time to time. "

The sisal basket  popularly known as "kiondo" is laboriously crafted from hand twisted sisal in a traditional Kikuyu method weaving style.  The subtle colouration is achieved by lendering inatures own colour ants hill, such as: mango leaf, tree bark and plant roots. The functional straps are fashioned from genuine kenya cowhide. Sisal basket weaving is a rich culture among the Kikuyu women from the central province of Mt Kenya and the Akamba women from the arid and semi arid region of Eastern Kenya.  Other ethnic community like the Taita in the coastal region   do make similar baskets but mostly from Baobab tree.  Most of these weavers are middle aged women. It is a skill that is acquired from generation to generation of the women artisans within their respective community; mostly in rural areas.

Export of "kiondo" sisal basket has over the years been regarded as an important income generating activity or job creation that has empowered local women. In many cases, the basket weavers treat the activity of making the basket as one way of supplementing their domestic income.  As such women tend to utilize every optune moment during their casual conversation by making the "kiondo" baskets.  It is not therefore uncommon to meet with women at the market scene or on the street or even in public transport - buses weaving the baskets.

In order to respond to the market tastes and trends, most of the finished sisal kiondo baskets are further given to the designers who often come up with various leather patterns and straps which are affixed or tailored to the finished baskets.  It is also important to note here that the finer weave do not only command quick sale but are also expensive compared to the thicker weave kiondos. However, of late, Kenyan authentic kiondo has been getting a stiff competition from Far East countries like china, Taiwan and even Japan who have been trying to produce similar products using modern machinery technology. Since the countries in the Far East countries noted above started making the same product as though it is a genuine brainchild product of their own, this has greatly affected hundreds of poor Kenyan women who have over the years depended on the making of sisal basket as their source of income.

This is something that the kiondo women makers from Kenya have no control of; more so because the Kenyan government was not wise enough to patent the kiondo within the intellectual property rights registrations as the law requires. Despite all that, the quality of the Kenyan kiondo  is still authentic and supreme compared to the sisal basket that countries from Far  East countries have of late brought into the crafts world marketplace. The truth is that, though the "kiondo" is an authentic Kenyan product in origin, nothing much can be done from the stiff competition the kiondo is facing internationally.

Old Models of Kiondos with different Patterns and Design