Lidded Basket (Igiseke), 20th century
Rwanda; Tutsi peoples
Dryed grass; H. 2 15/16 in. (7.4 cm), Diam. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Carlebach, 1958 (1978.412.326a,b)
The distinctive lidded receptacles produced by highly skilled aristocratic Tutsi women rank among the most refined forms of basketry. Great skill was directed toward weaving such miniature marvels in which fine coil sewing and exacting spiral patterns required equally exacting calculations and stitching. The natural pale gold of these delicate grass structures was enhanced with restrained graphic patterns in a black dye derived from boiling banana flowers.