Embrace the heart and spirit of Africa with a handmade necklace woven from the versatile fibers of the sisal plant. A colorful addition to your wardrobe that helps connect you to artisans working to preserve their culture and crafts in a global marketplace.
In Swaziland, basket-weaving skills are handed down from mother to daughter. Tintsaba has built a women's development project from this traditional skill, uniting artisan craftsmanship with empowerment since 1985. A collective of over 750 female artisan weavers create beautiful baskets and jewelry woven from sisal using a local, time honored fine-coiling technique. All steps of the production are carried out by hand, including the cleaning, dyeing, and spinning of the naturally grown fiber. The women not only earn a much-needed income, they preserve a generations-old craft. Additionally, the project provides ongoing training for enhanced technical skills and design.
- Sunset or Earth
- Made of handwoven and dyed sisal fiber with cord and ribbon
- Magnetic clasp
- Pendant: approximately 1.5" diameter (3.8 cm)
- Handmade in and fairly traded from Swaziland
Tintsaba was created in 1985 by Sheila Freemantle with the purpose of improving the lives of rural women in Swaziland. With an academic background in development, Sheila believed that creating an income generating opportunity for the women would help them become happier, healthier individuals - women who could take charge of their lives. Her small business that started with 12 women has to date worked with and trained more than 890 women. Their products are known for their beauty as well as the story of the women behind each product.
Different groups have different skills, from the basic skills of cleaning sisal, to craft skills of plaiting, to making little baskets, woven baskets, or components. These components can then be transformed into Christmas ornaments, contemporary jewelry, tableware, and other gifts. Tintsaba provides the opportunity and the training for producers – usually semi-literate basket makers - to move into finer, gallery/master weaver products such as technically perfect highly refined woven baskets and fine components for jewelry, some of which are combined with silver in their workshop.
The highly skilled artisans become jewelers and silversmiths, and also skills trainers, guaranteeing a virtuous cycle of continuous training and development for all the producers. Tintsaba cares about supporting women in their individual development. Several social programs have been set up in place for that purpose: Tintsaba started a mobile health clinic with volunteer homeopathic doctors in 2008 and funded transport and medication.
All producers and staff are taught Brain Gym which helps concentration, emotional balance, coordination and equalization of both sides of the brain. Tintsaba Reads, a literacy program, has been developed. Each staff member is developed as an individual which assures that they can evolve and have a long time career within Tintsaba: all the current management staff started working in Tintsaba as shop assistants.