Basketry Raffia

Plaited or crochet, the sundried leaves from the raffiapalm becomes hats and bags.

The pictures below show how the women on the Malagasy countryside, with varying technology and design, plait the sundried raffia palmleaves. The result is elegant hats, lace pattern makes them featherweight. The button on the bag is an interesting detail - it consists of a seed pod from raffiapalm.
The material: Leaves from the raffia palm (Arecaceae Raphia farinifera), which thrive on the hot and humid shores of Madagascar. This species grows 15-20 meters high and has a crown with a massive amount of leaves that can be up to 20 meters long. (The raffia palm has longer leaves than any other palm). The leaves of the palm can be harvested regularly, sun-dried and used in handicrafts. The raffia palm on Madagascar (Raphia farinifera) is one of approx 20 species, which are mainly found in Africa.
Another factor that makes this genuine craft Sustainable: The hats and bags of raffia are beautiful and age with beauty. - They are things you preserve.

Hats and bags can also be made by first braiding the raffiapalmleavs into band, which are thereafter stitched together. Below shows the artisan and designer Madame Mariette how a hat is handcrafted.

How women skilfully crochet hats and bags of sundried raffia palm leaves are shown on the photos below.