Handwoven sun-dried leaves from the raffia palm become material for many different artisans

The photos below show step by step how sun-dried leaves from the raffia palm are dyed, divided lengthwise, tied together, wound on a spool, woven by hand in the artisans’ self-made looms to become a very useful material (rabane) for many other artisans, e.g. hatters and bag manufacturers.
The weaving of raffia has been well documented since the 19th century, but can be assumed to have a much longer history in Madagascar. Weaving raffia palm leaves is still a craft practiced in the countryside, where it is a complement to the self-sufficiency economy. It is mainly the women who weave. There are some places in Madagascar that have made themselves known as particularly skilled at weaving raffia palm leaves: Andramasina, Ambatomanga, Fanandriana. Photos below come from one of these places (Andramasina). After photos of preparation and weaving of raffia, follow photos of artisans who in their studios use the woven material (rabane) in the crafting of e.g. hats, bags, roses. - Products that are all genuine handicraft products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment.

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