Egg transport in Baskeet

The enset plant is not only an important source of food in Baskeet but also the leaves, cords, fibres etc. of the plant are made use of. An important use of the leaves is for egg baskets. A fresh leaf is folded along the midrib, rolled up and tied together with a thin cord, which is also gotten from the enset plant, more precisely from a dried midrib. If one wants to sell eggs at the market, one quickly cuts off an enset leaf in one’s garden, makes a basket without any tools but with a few quick hand movements only, puts the eggs carefully inside and carries them in one’s hand to the market. The Baskeet name for such a basket is kiira (HL).

Egg transport in an enset basket (kiira)

Egg transport in an enset basket (kiira)

Kiira is, however, not only the name for an enset basket for eggs. Kiira is also the name for a ring made from an enset leaf, which is put on the head as a support and/or protector when carrying a load. If you have a closer look at the picture below you can see that the boy, who is carrying sweet potato leaves to the market, has put such a protective enset ring on his head.

Baskeet boy carrying potato leaves

Baskeet boy carrying potato leaves. He protects his egg with a kiira.

Enset leaves do not only protect one’s head, but they can also be put elsewhere as a protective device. The men on the picture below carry the roof of a house to a new compound, where it is to be put on top of a newly made bamboo house wall. Some of the men have put folded enset leaves on their shoulders (click to enlarge). I am, however, not sure that these would also be called kiira.

Men carrying the roof of a house

Men carrying the roof of a house

Also note the enset leaves (on the plants) in the foreground and background of the picture.

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