Thursday, 16 July 2009

Round basket

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This basket is a kind of 'sewing box', made to hang from the roof of the house, and used by Wayana women of the northern Amazon to store their tools and materials for working with cotton.

Men and women learn different skills, and it is women who spin thread from cotton grown in the gardens and make it into important household objects like hammocks. The basket where a woman keeps her spindle whorls and thread is a very personal possession, which stands for her place in the family as the provider of the things people need for a comfortable life.

It is usually men who make baskets in Amazonia, just as women usually make pots. Among the Wayana a man makes this special basket for his wife when they marry, so it is also a symbol of how they divide and share their work, each contributing different skills to family life.

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