Economic Botany

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 386–402

Effects of basket-weaving industry on mokola palm and dye plants in northwestern Botswana

  • A. B. Cunningham
  • S. J. Milton

DOI: 10.1007/BF02859055

Cite this article as:
Cunningham, A.B. & Milton, S.J. Econ Bot (1987) 41: 386. doi:10.1007/BF02859055


The basket-weaving industry on the edge of the Okavango Swamps in northwestern Botswana is dependent on natural populations of the palmHyphaene petersiana. Commercialization of the basket industry has led to changes in the population structure of the palms. The mean size of palm leaves has decreased and the resource has been depleted in the vicinity of swamp villages. Plants used to dye the palm fibres for basketry are becoming scarce. Through use of alternative raw materials and development of new crafts both natural resources and the incomes of the village craftspeople could be sustained.

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. B. Cunningham
    • 1
  • S. J. Milton
    • 1
  1. 1.Botany DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Institute of Natural ResourcesUniversity of NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa