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ladies of mwenga
the mwenga women group is a small women cooperative located in rural tanzania and led by chairwoman mama martina. in 2022 the cooperative consisted of about 30 women who meet up daily in their workshop to weave, chat & giggle. with their handicraft, the ladies of mwenge truly improve their livelihoods and work tirelessly to provide their children with a bright future.
most weavers are primarily farmers, and work is scarce during the dry seasons when it can become impossible to make ends meet. this money helps pay school fees, family medical bills and local food crops, enabling women to work flexibly and fit weaving in around other jobs and duties. handwoven from locally grown and harvested milulu grass, the products add a wonderful earthy & grounded touch to your home.
location - tanzania
materials - milulu grass
craft - traditional basket weaving
"most proceeds from the sold goods go towards school fees for our children and crop for our farmland."
celebrating traditional crafts
the first step is to harvest the mililu. the women sometimes have to walk for several hours in the sun to reach the field. the grass is then brought back to the village on their heads. It is impressive to see what these women can carry on their heads. (x)
then the milulu is dried in the sun for several days before being dyed if necessary. the dried grass comes in natural shades or terracotta hues, dyed with the deep-read soil found in these parts of africa. when these steps are completed, the fibre is ready to be woven. (x)
discover our mwenga group collection
all pictures in this article were taken by sister*hood when visiting tanzania. illustrations made by yvonne rausch.
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