Handmade Vases from Zimbabwe: lofty art of Tonga

When a common piece becomes an attractive element, evoking wonderful sensations, it is indisputably worthy of attention.

This is exactly what has happened over the past few years with handcrafted Zimbabwean handmade vases. The demand for these magnificent pieces is growing more and more.

Zimbabwean handmade vases as an artistic symbol

Traditional Zimbabwean handmade vases have played an ornamental and utilitarian role in Southeastern Africa since ancient times. It was a matter of time before its unique beauty captivated other regions. Even outside its borders.

The facts show their popularity: in exponential rise, they enjoy more and more relevance in the European market. They are used to add style to any room where they are placed with incredible ease.

Original knowledge of ancestral ethnic groups

The Tonga people belong to the multiform ethnic group of the Bantu, and they are scattered over vast areas of South Africa. In Zimbabwe they are grouped specifically in the Binga region, thus forming an important artisan center.

Characteristic Tonga-made utensils, especially the hand-made Binga palm leaf vases, have been perfected over hundreds of years. Considering the final work as a hallmark of status between tribal families. This process has generated an improvement in the quality and details of all the export pieces that we enjoy.

Activity based on Zimbabwean women

The basketry used in the handmade vases from Zimbabwe is a practice that passes between generations of women of the same tribe, especially from mother to daughter, consisting of an emblematic ceremony of great importance.

In this way, traditions of each group are preserved and the role of women as the root of the family is distinguished, with a great influence on economic and cultural support.

A complex and satisfying manufacturing method

For the elaboration of the Binga vases handmade with palm leaf, the native varieties of the region are used, mainly from the Hyphaene family. Being the Ilala fabrics the most used.

The work is only done by hand, without the help of machinery. Because of this, a single piece can be made in manufacturing periods ranging from a day to a full month.

Depending on the organization, the elaborations can be shared between several artisans. Although, in general, there is only one that is dedicated to each piece: from choosing the material, to the design of the model, the dyeing and the braiding.

What makes them so special?

Each of the Zimbabwean handcrafted vases produced in the Binga district exhibits originality in every inch of surface.

Justified by the mystique that comprises the entire procedure: from the harvest of the palm strips, going through the classification and treatment of each fiber or natural dye that will be used in the fabric, added to the reforestation planting to preserve the natural resources.

The aforementioned converges in spectacular designs resulting from ancestral traditions and the love for a better future, turning the Binga vases made by hand with palm leaf into true works of art that you can appreciate in our showroom in Arrecife, Lanzarote.

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