Tintsaba Crafts incorporates three craft outlets in an around Piggs Peak, a small town situated in the lush green mountains of Northern Swaziland. Tintsaba, which means mountains, was established as a development project in 1985 in order to harness the skills and creativity of the Swazi people. Products range from functional household and jewellery items to collectors’ pieces of the finest basketry in Africa. We have also recently developed a new range of silver earrings, necklaces, rings and bangles with wildlife and geometric designs. Our Hand-Coiled line mimics the basic basket weaving technique, using silver instead of sisal as its medium, while the Framed Sisal range combines the sisal disks from our Natural Jewellery Range with silver.
Company history and environmental commitments:
From the beginning, Tintsaba made a social and environmental commitment to our crafts producers. Regular handcraft training sessions are organised for newcomers, as well as sessions on pattern and quality upgrading. Workshops have been held on a number of topics, including family health and environmental issues like sustainable use of resources through organic gardening, as well as fruit and indigenous tree planting.
The environmental focus of our business has been integrated into the baskets and jewellery. New patterns have emerged, including elephant, rhino, lion, and an array of birds. As a result of all the training, design work and refined skills, Tintsaba offers a wide range of high quality and beautiful products that have grown beyond the traditional craft. Also, from our environmental commitment we developed a line of recycled baskets using old plastic bags.
We started our natural jewellery line in 1991 by refining the coiling technique of the basket into a still finer work of art. The Natural Jewellery Range combines coiled sisal disks with beads, seeds, fimo and cast brass figures.
Sine 1999, an experienced jeweller has been training one of our original basket and jewellery makers in the art of silver-smithing. As the project grows, we will train more women. The objective of the silver workshop is to combine the art of basket weaving with silver and to transfer the designs and techniques into silver earrings, necklaces, rings and bangles. Our collection includes wildlife, birds and geometric ranges. Our Hand-Coiled line mimics the basic basket weaving technique, using silver instead of sisal as its medium. The Framed Sisal range combines the sisal disks from our Natural Jewellery Range with silver.
We have been wholesaling and exporting our products for over 10 years. Our permanent staff receive ongoing self-development training. The people you may speak to if you are a wholesaler are Sheila Freemantle at the helm, or Nellie our Office manager.