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Image of Basket with Lid (Agaseke)

Tutsi Peoples
African

Basket with Lid (Agaseke)

20th century

Dimensions:
8 in. x Diam. 4 1/8 in. (20.32 cm x Diam. 10.48 cm)
Medium and Support: Fiber
Accession Number: 2015.0014.0003 ab

Credit Line: Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta


Traditionally, women of the aristocratic Tutsi ruling minority have woven small, coiled baskets known as agaseke or in the plural, ubuseke, with slender dried grasses, some of which they colored black with a dye made by boiling banana flowers. Most baskets were woven to give as gifts and used to contain small personal items and precious things like glass beads. The tightly woven and intricately sewn baskets typically have conical tops and geometric decoration like these elegant examples. Today, Tutsi women sustain their basketry traditions despite the prevalence of plastic containers in their contemporary culture.

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Lid and Basket Separated

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