Handcrafted crochet handbags in West Africa
"My favorite part of crafting bags is the weaving and crocheting.""I'm Mariama Bukari. I was born on November 22, 1984 in the Greater Accra region of Ghana.
"My friends describe me as creative, innovative, determined and a loyal person. My goal in life is to help people in the society especially the needy and my dream is to achieve what is expected of me.
"After my national service, I was at home and unemployed. It was so boring. I decide to play around crocheting to keep myself a little busy, at least. I started making baby shoes but I didn't like it so I began making baby clothes. Then I decided to crochet phone cases. Finally, I settled on crafting handbags.
"The first purse I crocheted didn't look nice enough for me so I practiced until I got it right. I try each different style around three times to master it.
"No one taught me this craft — I created my designs on my own. When I showed my handbags to my friends and family, they loved them.
"I use cords and beads, which I buy from the market. I find them easy to work with. My favorite part of crafting bags is the weaving and crocheting. The finishing, though, can be challenging. Starting on my own was difficult at first.
"Once, I worked at a security company. There were some 150 people on the staff and they were all men. I was the only lady among them! That felt awkward.
"Another time, I went to work with a wig cap on because that was the only option I had that day. It was an old type of wig. My colleagues made fun of me the whole day. They laughed at me and talked about it for a whole week. Even though it was embarrassing, it was fun because I laughed with them.
"My inspiration in life and work comes from my mother, my godmother, a dear church sister and from a very good friend."
8 items by Mariama Bukari
Handcrafted Gold and Black Tote with Circular Wood Handles
Chic Shopper, Handcrafted Gold and Black Tote with Circular Wood Handles
Mariama BukariSophisticated and durable, this tote will make the perfect shopping accessory. Ghanaian artisan Mariama Bukari handcrafts this tote out of polypropylene cord, woven in two bold blocks of color--honey...$184.99
Crocheted Sling in Black from Ghana
Feminine Fashion, Crocheted Sling in Black from Ghana
Mariama BukariDesigned by Ghana's Mariama Bukari, this feminine sling features a solid color of black accented by pink. It is crocheted by hand of polyester yarns, and features a handle as well as a stainless steel...$119.99
Hand Woven Black Handle Handbag from West Africa
Classic Midnight, Hand Woven Black Handle Handbag from West Africa
Mariama BukariGhanaian artisan Mariama Bukari creates this lovely handle bag that is ideal for every day use. The bag is crafted by hand with wonderfully neat and tight weaves of lightweight and sturdy cord in jet...$109.99
Crocheted Clutch in Carnation from Ghana
Flowering Carnation, Crocheted Clutch in Carnation from Ghana
Mariama BukariDesigned by Ghana's Mariama Bukari, this flowering sling features a solid color of carnation accented by black. It is crocheted by hand of polyester yarns, and features a floral accent as well as a...$89.99
Blue Cotton Drawstring Backpack with Yellow and Pink Suns
Bright Suns, Blue Cotton Drawstring Backpack with Yellow and Pink Suns
Mariama BukariThe whimsical print of yellow suns partially eclipsed with bright pink on a blue background makes this drawstring cotton backpack a fun way to carry the essentials. The backpack is lined with...$37.99
Sunset in Africa
Crocheted Handle Handbag in Onyx Black and Honey Yellow
Sunset in Africa, Crocheted Handle Handbag in Onyx Black and Honey Yellow
Mariama BukariGhanaian artisan Mariama Bukari creates this delightful handle bag that is ideal for everyday use. The versatile bag is crafted by hand with wonderfully neat weaves of lightweight and sturdy cord in...$119.99
Wheat Colored Cord Shoulder Bag with Chain Strap from Ghana
Wheat Splendor, Wheat Colored Cord Shoulder Bag with Chain Strap from Ghana
Mariama BukariGhanaian designer Mariama Bukari creates this wheat-colored macrame cord purse that is perfect for small items or a tablet. The purse front features a recycled plastic button closure. The strap is...$77.99
Crocheted Handbag in Marigold from Ghana
Marigold Love, Crocheted Handbag in Marigold from Ghana
Mariama BukariDesigned by Ghana's Mariama Bukari, this delightful handbag features a solid color of marigold accented by black handles. It is crocheted by hand of polyester yarns, and features recycled glass beads...$97.99