What does Binga Mean?

Rising Team - Thursday, September 18, 2014
by Becca Rubin

Since I am still fairly new to Rising, I am always looking around the office and checking out all of our awesome crafts from around the world. I love that each one has a story about where it came from and who made it.

That brings me to the Binga platter and what in the heck does Binga mean? Sometimes our crafts are named after our artisans and other times I have no idea how we came up with the name. I found that the word Binga has two meanings "the enclosure surrounding a chief's village" or "thick forest country" and it is also the village in Zimbabwe where the artisans that make the platters live. Binga is an isolated village in Matabeleland North in Zimbabwe, lying on the southeastern shore of Lake Kariba. It was constructed for the BaTonga people who were moved out of the Zambezi valley so Lake Kariba (a reservoir) could be created.

Binga baskets are traditional in Zimbabwe and are used to winnow millet to make millet beer. Have any of you out there ever had millet beer? Winnowing (I had to look it up) is an agricultural method used to separate grains. The baskets are still used in villages today, and are woven by BaTonga women out of Palm leaves.

Our baskets come in two sizes 16 inches and 21 inches. Check them out in the Rising Store: Binga Platters.

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