Cane basketry (Arundo donax L.) is one of the most characteristic activities in the riverside areas of the Guadiana Valley in the Algarve, where there are abundant sugarcane fields. In this technique, the weaving of the cane makes it possible to make the most varied baskets, essential work tools in agricultural tasks, as well as for the storage and transport of products.

There is still an expressive number of basket-makers in the area today, although less than in the mid-19th century. XX, when “everyone made baskets”. Basketry is generally a male job. The master reveals the perfect knowledge of the materials, the exact moment in which they must be harvested and the correct period in time to dry them. T

he cane grows throughout the year, but more often in winter, usually in January. After cutting with a knife or pruner, it is cleaned and then split into slats. Sitting on a small bench, the basket maker begins to shape the basket by intertwining the slats of the cane. Throughout the process, he makes use of very rudimentary tools: canvas or a piece of skin to cover the leg when cutting the cane, knife, pocketknife, scissors, amongst other instruments.



Algarve Imaterial. (2022). Cestaria em Cana. Accessed on 17th February, 2022. URL: