The Mapusha Weaving Co-Operative is based in Rooiboklaagte, Acornhoek and has been operating for the over 40 years now. The weavers are a small group of Mapulaneng Sotho and Shangaan women (Mapu + Sha = Mapusha), who came together in the early 1970s, with the help of the mission, as a way for unemployed women in the village to learn a craft and earn money to support their families.
Originally, the mission had sent two young women to a successful weaving studio to be trained in the crafts of weaving, sewing, spinning, and dyeing. Two years later, when the two returned to Rooiboklaagte, the studio was built, looms constructed, and other women were trained in these crafts.
As is the case for so many business and communities in our country, COVID-19 brought their business to a stand-still and they were no longer able to support themselves through this period. With the lack of tourists coming to visit the studio, and the economic effect on businesses and individuals around them, the studio closed it’s doors until the opportunity arose for a new chapter.
We are so grateful to be a part of this new chapter, as we assist them in mentorship, marketing and creating a space for trainees to step in and a new generation of weavers to be born under the watchful eye and skilled guidance of the original team of weavers.