In a store on the Mendocino coast specializing in African products, we came across this stylish, toy Land Rover complete with roof rack and tiny jerry cans. It was made in Malawi, in southern Africa, entirely out of river reeds. Like so many other goods from Africa, this model was made from what was available. On the shores of Lake Malawi, it turns out, river reeds are what’s available in abundance.
This little truck measures a respectable 14″ long, by 6″ wide, by 11″ tall, and can be ordered for $48 from Ananse Village in Fort Bragg, California.
The model is completely woven together: the wheels, the lights, the bull bar. The baskets on the roof open, as does the hood, to reveal a tiny reed-woven motor. The spirit and cleverness of this little truck are amazing.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa but, if they keep producing handsome products like this, I can’t imagine they’ll stay that way for long.