Simon’s travels to the Bolga region

Jan 25th 2017

Driving into Bolga is always exciting. It’s my 11th visit and a chance to see our old friends and get out into the real West African bush. We split off from the main

Rd in our small little Tro Tro and wind through the Boabab and Carite trees deeper into the Sahel passing several villages before landing at …

It’s quiet and a cool wind blows across the late morning where the temperature is fast heading to 35.

Moses and i jump out and are immediately greeted by old friends who casually appear from their earth huts. Graneries abound and chickens and goats roam around fossicking for snacks
We head into a largish cement room which has striking artwork on the walls… two woman sit peacefully on the ground near the middle of the room, upright and ensconced in their weaving trade.

They have been weaving all their lives and area members of the hereditary linage of basket weavers in these parts.
We sit down to join them and are soon joined by several others including some young girls who immediately get to work on half finished baskets. It’s obvious that the hierarchy of weavers is as strong as ever.

The youngest start their trade on the small baskets with simple designs and colour patterns whilst the best weavers are working on commissioned items and new creations …. all of them have the

bloodline and environmental influences that have helped make the bolga basket a phenomena.
After an hour of watching one of the middle aged woman starts to sing and is soon joined by everyone in the room. Mellifluous songs roll on for hrs until we all rise and start the traditional dance that brings inevitable smiles and laughter with my involvement
Pure joy with beautiful creative souls … an afternoon to remember

Simon