2017-2019 PORTUGAL

Basket weaving Research for upcoming exhibition


Basket weaving is one of the oldest technologies in human history. It’s also incredibly sustainable, fitting perfectly into the biological cycle. As such it needs to be given new life. 

Once an all-pervasive staple of Portuguese life, baskets were used for everything from transporting recently caught fish, to harvesting grapes for wine, to collecting olives for olive oil, to packing dried figs, a host of other agricultural applications, selling seeds and grains, shopping, holding yarn by the loom, furniture, fashion, and decorative arts. 

This aging population of basket weavers is facing a number of difficulties:

  • The dwindling monetary value of the product itself;

  • A lack of interest in learning the techniques from younger generations;

  • Fierce competition, mostly from abroad; 

  • Limited access to international markets.

Passa Ao Futuro through a collaboration with the Portuguese National Ethnology and the Popular Art Museums, has been working on an investigation into basketry in Portugal. Researching the collections of both museums as well as doing a survey of the active basket weavers in Portugal. The results will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition, next fall, at the Popular Art Museum, curated by Passa Ao Futuro.