Zimbabwe is a landlocked country that straddles the southern part of Africa, with Mozambique and Zambia to its east and northeast, Botswana and South Africa to the west and south. The nation's highest point is Bobonong Peak in the central region, which reaches an elevation of 3,912 feet (1,205 m) above sea level. In the eastern sector, there are towering mountain ranges known as the Eastern Highlands.
English is the national language of Zimbabwe, although most people in the country are native speakers of Bantu languages, especially Shona (spoken by 76 percent of the population) and Ndebele (spoken by 18%). The majority of the productive sector is run by individuals who are self-employed, and an estimated one million people are said to be benefiting directly or indirectly from crafts marketing.
Zimbabwean handicrafts, which include pottery, basket making, textiles, jewelry, and woodcarving, are well-known. Craftsmanship in symmetrical patterned woven baskets and stools carved from a single piece of wood is particularly excellent examples of Zimbabwean artisans' ability. Shona sculpture is a recent attempt by Zimbabwean sculptors to blend European artistic training with African folklore depiction. Some Zimbabwean artists have risen to prominence over the last several decades.
Tonga/Binga Baskets Originating in Zimbabwe
Binga is a basket-making settlement in the far northern Binga region, home to the displaced baTonga people. The art and design industry has discovered a global market for Tonga baskets, providing much-needed revenue. The weavers' cultural values are represented by the variety of baskets with designs inspired by nature.
The basket weaving methods have allowed a large number of rural women in Zimbabwe to send their children to school after learning them during family apprenticeship. Hwange, Matabeleland, Masvingo, and Harare are some of the areas that have produced excellent baskets. Baskets are used for wall decorating, winnowing, and table service. Natural raw materials are used to make all of the baskets.
Today, many Tongan women utilize traditional basket-making skills to create intricately patterned baskets. The baskets are constructed using all natural and locally harvested materials, such as wild grasses, little vines, and palm leaves stained with tree bark. The largest bowls are still utilized by the baTonga people for their original function of winnowing grain.
The Binga/Tonga baskets are produced from the over and under technique of ‘simple' weaving, which requires roughly three days to complete. The coiled rim is fashioned after a herringbone design.