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Weaving Peace – The Beautiful History of Rwanda’s Peace Baskets

For centuries, “agaseke” – traditional Rwandan baskets {like the one pictured above!} – have been an essential part of Rwandan culture – woven into the fabric of everyday life as vessels for food and grains, household catchalls, and gifts for important ceremonies, like weddings and christenings.

Historically, weaving was passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, as a rite of passage marking the transition into womanhood and symbolizing a mother’s care for her children and her country. However, after the 1994 genocide, this age-old tradition took on a new and powerful meaning in Rwanda.

When the genocide in Rwanda ended, women were left to pick up the pieces of their shattered country.  In order to provide for themselves, their families, and the countless orphans left in the destruction’s wake, many banded together to form artisan cooperatives—overcoming past differences to work together towards a brighter future.

These determined women decided to use traditional agaseke baskets as a symbol of Rwanda’s newfound peace, and the baskets’ iconic zigzag patterns came to represent the image of two women holding hands—embracing reconciliation, unity, and hope for the future of Rwanda.

We are so excited to share our newest collection of peace baskets with you – a line of beautiful, beaded agaseke that reflect Rwanda’s rich cultural traditions and crafts, as well as its ever-brightening future. We love these baskets not only for their simple and elegant design, but for what they represent: a beautiful story of forgiveness, generosity, and compassion that inspires us everyday, and that we hope will inspire you too.

To shop our peace basket collection, click here