Made of natural woven fibres the Agaseke basket is a wonderful Rwandan symbol. Traditionally gifts were given to a lady at the time of her marriage; they would contain household food items assuring a basic starting supply for the couple. Tourism gave Rwandan weavers the opportunity to make mini-versions for travellers to take home a momento of the country and a reminder of progress and recovery in the people of this amazing country.
Sandi and I were given a number of these baskets in 1998 and during subsequent visits. More recently the word peace has been attached to the Agaseke, as a reminder that peace is needed to create such a beautiful object. I also believe that one is unlikely to share such a gift unless there is peace between giver and receiver.
You’ll find the basket on the front cover of my forthcoming book From Genocide to Generosity. The text also contains two stories involving weddings in Rwanda.