The inkangara or agakangara is a lidded basket that came (and still comes) in different sizes and shows a peculiar range of traditional decorative black or red pattern. Its overall shape, function, and weaving techniques are very different from those of the agaseke pieces.
Wider than the agaseke, the inkangara was born as an elegant, prestigious case. It has a stockier and more robust body, and a sturdier and simpler lid, whose tip and lower edge are reinforced with the bark of the Ficus tree and often decorated with a checkerboard pattern (ishaka or ‘the sorghum spike’).
It’s, moreover, a double-layered basket (vannerie doublée in French) with a core and an outer casing, made via a wickerwork technique called igihisi, used also for panels and screens. «The inner core is constructed from rigid bamboo splints, woven together with strands of raffia or sisal and then further embellished with wedge weave to create the bold, crisp designs of the outer surface» (Vanessa Drake Moraga, cit.). In other words, the fine outer surface, often made with Papyrus, Cyperus latifolius grass (intaratara), and the bark of banana leafstalks, covers a coarser deep layer built with narrow, rigid bamboo splints twined with fiber strands. The two different layers are sewn together along the edges (that’s why they are reinforced).
The following pictures show two rows of contemporary inkangara baskets, recently made in the southern Huye district: