Bamboo basket weaving is a traditional craft practised by the Hmong and Khamu tribes in rural hillside villages in Laos. The villages that these baskets and tea strainers come from are located near the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos. Typically the villages are made up of around 20 households with at least one household member working with bamboo weaving. It is usually the men who do the bamboo basketry but more recently it has become a family practice with the men cutting and preparing the strips of wood using traditional locally made large knives with both men and women crafting the various weaving techniques.
There are so many varieties of bamboo growing in Laos but the 2 most common varieties of bamboo are Mai Pai and Mai Hear, which are mainly used for weaving kitchenware, baskets for carrying firewood, fishing traps and homeware (mats and stools, as well as building materials for housing and scaffolding and the roots eaten in Lao stews and soups. These varieties grow at about 4cm per day and are found in abundance around the outskirts of these villages.