A craft of great importance to Madagascar is braiding of a reed-like sedge (Lepironia articulata) into mats for use in and outside the houses, baskets, hats, etc. The species is common in Madagascar, as in many other countries in and around the Indian Ocean. It is considered to be a material of very good quality for crafts; strong, flexible, easy to work with. More about the plant, its propagation and usability on the website PlantUse. This material is lining many bags and baskets in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range. The bag or basket is thus composed of two layers; inside of plaited sedges, the outside of, for example, woven sisal. The inside gives form and especially durability to the bag or basket. The beautiful, useful natural fibre is also used as the only material for crafting hats and bags (see below).
Reeds "Erana " become candy-frogs, owls and more
Erana is a common plant between rice fields in Madagascar highlands. It is only used for basketry (not edible for people or livestock.) Erana is harvested manually, left to dry in the sun, shared and moisturized before plaiting. For Mme Perline it is a craft she learned from her mother. The pictures below, she shows the steps in the crafting from plant to finished craft product. You find the products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment under the heading gift packaging