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A very good example of this collectible African basket. Diameter 47cms, height 14cms. In excellent condition, one leather handle is broken and short, All cowrie shells intact. Geometric designs in good order. Harari basketry is an important cultural indicator for the Harari people of Ethiopia, a minority ethnic group from the eastern city of Harar (Asante 2005: 61; Hecht 1992: 5). Traditional basketry is made exclusively by Harari women, and plays an integral role as a symbol of Harari female identity (Hecht 1992: 12). Basket making acts as a right of passage for young girls who are expected to master the art of weaving before their wedding in order to supply a minimum number of baskets for their dowry (Tarsitani 2009: 71; Zekaria 1999: 3). Prior to marriage, young girls produce baskets together as part of a mooy gaar, a social group of similarly aged girls, where they learn weaving and the art of social etiquette (Tarsitani, 2009: 66; Zekaria 1999: 4). The traditional baskets act as a valuable link between tangible and intangible heritage, representing “femininity, family, and community”, while also creating and fortifying social relationships (Tarsitani, 2009: 71).

Vintage Ethiopian Harari basket - large. A womans heritage object

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