Come spend a morning with Donatha learning how to make traditional Rwandan baskets. The activity will be held at Donatha's home. She will meet you in Muramba and hike you down the hill. If you come in the A.M., she will cook you lunch and you can work into the afternoon. You'll make designs from sweetgrass and sisal. She'll show you various designs and you can pick out something to produce based on your skills or previous experience.
"I learned to weave from my mother and I’m teaching my daughter."
Born in a neighboring community, Donatha moved to Hindero (village on the outskirts of Muramba) after getting married. She and her husband have been married for 20 years and have eight kids. She is highly motivated and very proud of her craft. She is excited to have visitors and says that it is an honor that someone would come from so far away to learn about Rwanda, and spend time with her and her family.
Donatha learned to weave baskets from her mother, and is teaching her daughter. She is actively involved with a local basket making association near Muramba with about 80 members. Association members have different responsibilities and unique skills. Some make baskets out of sweetgrass and some use sisal, an agave plant that produces stiff fibers perfect for baskets. Basket making has been a part of Rwandan culture for centuries and requires very detailed workmanship.
According to Donatha, women in Rwanda have many problems. Basket weaving is a way for me to be productive and to contribute to the development of my family in a meaningful way. It is part of our culture too. I learned to weave from my mother and I'm teaching it to my daughter who is in school and uses earning from the sale of baskets to help cover her own school fees.