Learn this the traditional art of weaving famous Rwandan baskets in this traditional Rwandan basket weaving workshop . During the workshop you will learn the entire process of dying, knitting and weaving the baskets. Most of the raw materials used are locally produced and using traditional Rwandan customs. There is also a shop where you can have the opportunity to buy traditional crafts if you don’t have the time to take part in the full workshop.
The workshop starts with dying of the traditional materials used for basket weaving. The traditional colors used are white, blue, red, yellow and green, but sometimes other colors are used as well. The dye is heated over an open fire and the fibers are stirred around in the hot dye using a wooden stick.
After dying, you will try traditional Rwandan weaving. Traditional Rwandan baskets are made from weaving strands of grass and sisal fibers. Weaving in Rwanda is done using a large size needle rather than a large knitting needle.
Weaving is an old tradition in Rwanda and is most commonly used to make the famous traditional storage baskets with imigongo pattern. The traditional baskets in Rwanda are made over a frame of dried papyrus. Thick grass and banana fibres are then woven tight onto the frame.
After the workshop and learning the various techniques of knitting, dying and weaving, you can visit the cooperative shop before saying goodbye.
The Weaving Cooperative of Kivumu (COOVAKARU) comprises of 25 women passionate about weaving and who practiced it as a hobby to generate income for their families. They then turned their passion into a community based tourism experience for visitors along the Kivu Belt Road and the Congo Nile Trail.
COOVAKARU offers you an authentic weaving experience and an opportunity to enhance your knowledge on the different weaving craft forms of Rwanda, identify various types of materials used in weaving, and the processes required for the preparation of some plants. You will enjoy your interaction with the cooperative members and the local community, while you become creative and an expert in weaving and knitting.
Your guide will meet you in front of the cooperative building in Kivumu, Yellow sign showing Coovakaru can be seen from the Kivu Belt Road