Emilie Shangavi
basket weaver, Namibia


Emilie Shangavi is from Kalkfeld, in central Namibia. Emilie learned to make coiled baskets as a small child, taught by her parents. Many years ago, she started to make baskets for sale, using traditional split palm leaves, as a way to pay the school fees for her grandchildren. Recently, she discovered another source of free materials - deconstructed plastic bags. Still using the palm leaves for the inner core, Emilie incorporates the plastic “string” from both onion and feed bags, and cuts up the silver inner lining of wine boxes for sparkling accents in her baskets. Cordage is rolled on her thigh. She makes her own stitching needles using the spokes of broken umbrellas. One basket takes her about two days.

Until 2005, Emilie sold much of her work with the help of a Peace Corps Volunteer who was located in Kalkfeld. Her friend (and translator) Theresia helps her with sales.


these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Jackie Abrams,
May. 2006 -- last updated, May. 2006