The Thrill of the Find

It’s true that the thrill is in the find. What’s even more true is that the find can be where you least expect it – at a corner store in some remote land or even at an outdoor market right in your backyard.

On a recent trip to Cape Town, Jude uncovered some exquisite hand-woven baskets in a very serendipitous way.

While strolling the streets, partly as native, partly as tourist, she spotted a giant basket hanging on an office wall right next to a corner store. The intrepid shopper that she is forced her to hit the local street-side market to uncover its origin. She quickly discovered that these special baskets are fabricated from river reeds found in a remote and hard to access village called Binga, which lies in Northern Zimbabwe on the shores of Lake Kariba, close to the border with Zambia.

Without haste, she grabbed her nieces, Louise and Jessica, and the trio ventured to Green Market Square in central Cape Town where they were approached by vendors in all directions plying these Zimbabwean beauties in a grand variety of sizes. Some carried them in feed sacks or hemp bags, others stacked piles in their arms, all hoping to make a sale.

Selection was tough because each basket had a wonderfully individual design and quirky nuance.

Through a series of crazy and colorful coincidences and introductions, Jude and Louise met Lorraine and her sister Margaret. Originally from Zimbabwe, the two regularly make the three day slog from Cape Town to Harare, buying baskets so they can bring them to market in Cape Town.

The final choices came down to size. They only selected those that were easy to ship back to the US and that the Found Object team would be able to group into sets of three, photograph and make readily available for future sale.

Sadly enough, baskets more than 18 inches in diameter did not make the cut and had to stay behind for someone else to discover.