I don't know a lot about the origins of this fantastic basket, but am pretty certain it is African, and possibly Tutsi, a tribal culture based primarily in Rwanda and Burundi, renowned for the baskets made by its women weavers. I believe a basket like this would have been made for the transport of goods, and that it once had a handle for carrying that was attached to the sides. I think it is truly an extraordinary object, with this wonderful bulbous, almost tear drop shape, narrowing at the top to a small and tightly fitting lid that reminds me of a little hat perched atop a large head! It is also wonderfully irregular, sloping to one side or the other depending on vantage point, giving it just a fantastic presence and terrific sense of intimacy and specialness.
The basket, of substantial size, measures 11" tall and 8" across at widest. Other than the missing handle, it is in excellent vintage condition and structurally very solid and stable.