2009 Weave of the week #20: Lucky bag

Lucky bag

Lucky bag

This week’s weave is a woven raffia bag (shown above) from West Africa, probably Ivory Coast or Nigeria. It was given to me by a couple I knew, in exchange for boarding their cats while they were traveling in Africa.

Looking back, I’m amazed that I did such a daft thing. Taking responsibility for the well-being of four cats was a weighty commitment, and I had not even considered possible problems of cat protocol that might arise when my two cats found two strange cats in their house. But I wasn’t thinking about the risks, I was looking forward to the rewards, and my loft, I figured, was big enough for all of us (almost 2,000 sq ft) and had no furnishings of value except my looms.

It was a typically steamy New York summer, and I had no air-conditioning, so Susan and Jerry’s longhaired Persian cat staked out the cool floor of the shower as his territory. Their other cat was a gentle but frail, elderly Siamese who wheezed alarmingly and seemed barely able to totter across the loft to the litter box. I prayed that both cats would stay well at least until their people got back.

A month later my friends came back bearing gifts of African weaving implements and textiles, including this raffia bag with the woven word “lucky,” which I guess it was, because everyone survived, including my own adored cats, Princess and Puffy (shown below in a characteristic pose).

Princess and Puffy

Princess and Puffy


4 Responses

  1. Peacock person here…but Princess and Puffy are adoreable! Is raffia different from jute or sisal? Thanks for the enjoyable post, Fern.


    • Cool to hear from a peacock person and a dog person re my cats : )
      Raffia is made from the leaves of the raffia palm tree, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
      Thanks, Eva


  2. Dog person here…..it would terrify me to cat-sit one cat – let alone 4!!!

    But the pictures of your two cats curled up together is so cute!! (And I don’t often compliment cat pictures!!)

    At first I thought the “lucky” the on the bag might have been borrowed from Lucky Brand jeans – but that company didn’t form til the 1990’s…..so I guess that wasn’t the inspiration.

    Thanks, as always, for the weave of the week!!


    • Hi, Sue, More than ads, tourist sales might have been what inspired “lucky,” but I’m guessing. Glad that you liked the post. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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