Baskets for Plants: Finnish Design, Handwoven in Africa

Woven in rural villages near Nairobi, a collection of traditional Kenyan Kiondo baskets has a Nordic flavor thanks to the influence of Finland-based Mifuko designers Mari Martikainen and Minna Impiö.

Martikainen and Impiö work with weavers in Machakos county. “Most of our artisans in rural Kenya primarily earn their living as farmers,” say Martikainen and Impiö. “In Machakos villages, Kiondo baskets are woven year round. The best time to concentrate on artisan work is during the dry season.

Photography via Mifuko except where noted.


Above: Made of woven sisal and food-grade plastic, a small white Kiondo basket is €39 and a medium Kiondo Basket with leather straps is €52.


Above: A medium Black And White Kiondo Basket is €49.


Above: Kiondo baskets are available in four sizes.


Above: “At times making a living as a farmer can be very difficult for our artisans in Machakos,” say Martikainen and Impiö. “Making Kiondos brings them financial security by providing an important additional income to secure a living also in times of a serious drought and crop failure. “


Above: “The artisans mostly weave baskets at home and regularly meet in shared working and meeting spaces to discuss current affairs and to work together,” say Martikainen and Impiö. “Sometimes, when it´s very hot and dry, they prefer to work outside where big trees offer shelter from the sun.”


Above: Photograph via Merci.

A selection of small Mifuko Kiondo baskets also is available for €29 apiece at Merci.


Above: Photograph via Merci.

A White Striped Basket is €29 at Merci.

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