al-Hiba: Plaited Basket Makers

Date: 1960s

These baskets are plaited in strips using split rushes and reeds. The reeds are pounded to be made pliable, split in two, and then plaited. The outer two pieces are bent towards the middle, and the weaver passes them in a pattern of over two and under two. New sections are added to the originals in the middle and become plaited in turn. Later in the process the reeds or rushes are divided into quarters instead of halves, and the weaver makes them increasingly tight. If using rush the material needs to be kept damp throughout the whole process. In the late 1960s Miʾdan women were actively making plaiting baskets. See also: Weaver; Cord and Twine Maker; Maker of Woven Mats; Maker of Plaited Mats; Maker of Wrapped Coil Baskets.

Citation: Ochsenschlager, Edward. Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the Garden of Eden (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2004), pp. 132-33.