Shopping in Kenya & Turkana Women Basket Weavers

Shopping in Kenya

local-market

Textiles/ Batiks/ Soapstone & wood carvings/ Bead-work/ traditional utensils made out of gourds

Kenya’s most important artisan traditions are ironwork, metal jewelry and basket ware.

Turkana Women Basket Weavers

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The Turkana people inhabit the northwestern part of Kenya that is bordered by Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia. It’s a harsh desert or semi-desert area with scant rainfall, temperatures usually over 95 and severe drought since 1982. The capital of this area, the Turkana District, is a small town called Lodwar. Many people in Lodwar and the surrounding remote areas are severely undernourished. The lack of health and education opportunities are hard to imagine, even to people who live in other parts of Kenya. Lodwar is about 2-1/2 hours by plane or a 24-hour drive (if you’re lucky) from the capital city of Nairobi.

One spot of beauty in the area is the women who weave beautiful baskets from a palm-type plant/doum palm. This is one thing the women can do to try and earn a few shillings. Unfortunately, there is very little market for the baskets in such a remote area. The only spot to sell them is in the town of Lodwar and that can be 10 to 85 kilometers away for many people and not many buyers drive through there anyway.

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