Raising Bee to have a respect and fascination for cultures other than our own is of utmost importance to me. Our world is small, indeed, and we have much to learn from those that walk this great Earth among us – whether they’re poets hiking aimlessly through the mountains of Austria or, in this case, artisans settling into the dry foothills of West Africa. And until Ken and I gain enough confidence to travel the world with an infant, we’re making efforts to surround her with objects that tell the stories of those living elsewhere. Exhibit A: charming baskets handwoven in Senegal.
These beauties are created by Wolof craftswomen who weave sustainable cattail stalks with bright strips of plastic, reminiscent of traditional snake charming baskets. Each woman is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, devoted to their craft and paid generous living wages for their time, efforts and skill. Woven into every basket is pride and hope and purpose, dyed from the pink waters of Lake Retba that ripple with the stories and dreams of its people.
Perhaps someday I’ll dive into those pink lakes to better understand a culture that is so different from my own. But until then, I’ll surround myself with artifacts inspiring me to look further than my own front door and local Starbucks and zip code. Objects reminding me that, where my waters are blue, others are pink. And how beautiful that difference can be.
Image Credits: Land of Nod
p.s. Just for fun: More nursery storage.