Rwandan women basketmakers weave their way into international markets

Excerpted from CNN: Rwandan Basketmakers Weave Their Way into Macy’s


Gahaya Links baskets have been coined PEACE BASKETS and embodiment of reconciliation and healing in a country torn by conflict. “Seeing these women talking, laughing and working together, it’s hard to imagine that many of them were enemies, belonging to warring tribes during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.”

The story and picture of women inside the Gahaya Links workshop on the outskirts of Kigali, reminded me that similar cooperatives on a smaller scale are happening throughout Rwanda, and in the rural areas.  Here is a picture of me in the same backbreaking position with women in Rugerero, western Rwanda, teaching me how to weave a basket. This was in May, 2011, volunteering with Lily Yeh and the Barefoot Artists ( and the Center for the Arts in Medicine, University of Florida (  After the basketweaving lesson, we gave these women a massage, which they were very pleased to accept. 


~ by artpoped on July 31, 2012.

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