Niga Carry-On Basket


Origin : Indigenous reserve of Ismuina, Caquetá-Solano, Colombia    

Technique : basket weaving

Materials : bejuco yaré (vine) and cumare

Approximate dimensions : 14” d x 14” h


The Niga canasto propio basket is an emblematic object of the indigenous reserve of Ismuina. This woven basket is still made today to serve a utilitarian purpose, as it is used in daily life by members of the community to transport agricultural produce for distribution. It is also imbued with spiritual meaning; the transfer of knowledge and wisdom which is passed on by each artisan weaver, thus connecting the utilitarian value of the object to the poetic and ritualistic universe of the community. 

The Association Basket of Abundance Moniya Kirigai was created by 8-members of the Ismuina community. Led by Nancy Vargas, the association is dedicated to the fine art of basket weaving under the brand name Niga. Besides producing for the everyday work of the community, they also produce these baskets for wider commercial distribution.  Located near the southern frontier with Ecuador, Niga weavers are devoted to passing on their craftsmanship and knowledge to younger members of the community in order to continue to strengthen their weaving traditions and increasing the economic importance of their production in the region. 

Photo by, Gentl & Hyers for Mariana Velásquez' 'Colombiana' cookbook.

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