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Ignore Gucci Bags, You are Not a Complete Luhya Lady Without “Shimwero” Find Out Why

Artifacts are some of the vital items that showcase culture across most communities globally. Tribes in Kenya however use containers for different purposes, from storing to transportation. 

Woven baskets are a treasure among the Abaluhya community. It is commonly known as indubi, ingugi, shilubi and Shimwero. The reason it has different names is that it is associated with different dialects of the Luhya tribe.

The basket is made of Papyrus reeds that grow in river banks or elephant grass. The grass is first dried in the sun before the actual weaving process. It is then split into narrow strips which are interwoven to form a basket of the desired shape. It is tied with sisal or banana fibers to hold it firm.

Young adolescent girls must learn the skill of weaving the basket before the initiation rite is passed, a common practice in the traditional Luhya community.

The baskets are commonly used in carrying grains such as maize and sorghum to a mill for flour. Across Shinyalu, Ikolomani, and Khwisero constituencies, they are prevalent among tea farmers. The Shimwero is frequently found in bridal showers, marriage anniversaries, and funerals.

According to Busolo a native in the Western region, it is a cultural taboo to sit on the basket, and the consequences of it can result in barrenness. This is why it is much important than a Gucci bag. 

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Content created and supplied by: NairobiTimesOfficial (via Opera News )

Abaluhya Gucci Bags Kenya Luhya Papyrus


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