Basket Case…

by Dorothea

I am proud to be called a “Basket Case”

My passion for baskets is all shapes and forms from all over the world must be rooted in my African childhood. Growing up in Kenya, baskets were a feature in all aspects of life. “Oh no! Not another basket!” is a recurring exclamation from the man in my life…

There is something sexy and innocent about a girl nonchalantly swinging a basket as a tote bag…I once read the lovely Jane Birkin also has the basket bug…


My first basket was a mini “kikapu”, the Swahili word for basket. A Kikapu is a striped, tightly woven round basket in beautiful colored rope with typically long leather straps, that Kenyan women often wear around their heads! In my family, all bags were referred to as “kikapu’s” to the hilarity of my Dutch friends…


Original Kenyan Kikapu

I used this basket once to collect my puppy labrador Max from Italy by plane…when he peeked his little head out of the basket, the customs person swooned and waved me through!

Here are some of the baskets I have collected over the years, every country and region has its own basket weaving traditions and local materials are used since the dawn of time. Think of the baby Moses in ancient Egypt who was set afloat on the Nile in a basket…




It is a good thing I live in a big old house because baskets have one enormous drawback: the take up a LOT of space!

I don’t just love “handbag or shopping” baskets, I also collect big baskets to store all kinds of things in, from garden cushions to magazines and logs, they are a great feature in a home.


Well, I guess I will go to hell in a handbasket!