Bolga Baskets are traditionally made from “veta veta” or elephant grass which grows in swamps and along rivers across Ghana, and is favoured by elephants, hence the name. The basket making process requires patience, time and skill, as well as years of training before the artisans achieve the skills needed to make a high quality basket. Most weavers learn the basics beside their mothers as children, and are allowed to practice on discarded straw as they grow up, making mistakes and playing with their creations. By the time they’re adult, they’ve mastered the basics.
Here’s how the weaver prepares the grass for weaving: