I meant to do a blog post about this during the holidays. I even wrote myself a note about it, which I just found, which tells you how often I get through the pile on my desk.
Anyway, better late than never!
We discovered this wonderful company that imports handmade, natural fiber baskets from Africa. The owner of the company, Umoh Essiet, is from Ghana, but she now lives here in Helena, Montana (small world). She makes regular trips to Africa to get these baskets, which are made by women who receive an honest payment for their wares. Umoh has a room full of these baskets in her home, and we were overwhelmed when we went to see them (by awe, not by chemicals; the baskets are all natural with no chemical finish applied).
These baskets are BEAUTIFUL. What else can I say? Useful too!
Needless to say, we had to buy several to give as gifts, and, when we get our tax refund, I will be heading back to buy something for myself.
Before we left, Umoh insisted that we learn the name of the place where many of the baskets are made. It's called Bolgatanga (pronounced just like it looks) in the northern part of Ghana. So we not only came away with beautiful baskets, but received a culture lesson too.
The really good news is that you don't have to come to Helena, Montana to see these baskets (though it's a great place to visit, in the summertime). You can see (and purchase, of course) at www.africantreasuresonline.com .
[Shameless commercialism strikes again.]