Thursday, 4 April 2013 8:39 AM

Banana Fibre Bags, a Symbol of Pride in Temotu Province

In Temotu Province, one of the unique things that people in Grasiosa Bay are known for is the weaving of banana fibre into hand bags, which they call Topla Birpi.

"Banana weaving is an intricate part of our culture...very tedious work but the finished product makes it all worthwhile," said young Andrew, a primary school student who took up the passion of weaving bags at a very young age.

Andrew said that he learned how to make banana basket from his father who was one of those instrumental in setting up the 'Kale Weavers of Santa Cruz.'

Simon Barclay, who owns and operates the Luelta Lodge in Temotu Province where many of the bags are sold, explained that the fibre they use comes from a very unique banana variety in Santa Cruz.

He said the banana from which the fibre is extracted is quite rare and is different from the popular variety found throughout the Solomon Island.

Compared to all the weaving techniques of other Provinces, banana fibre weaving is very unique; it is unlike others where weavers use their fingers to thread the mats or baskets.

"Usually we use small sticks to weave the patterns, we also use our legs to stretch and pull the banana fibre as we weave the unique patterns," Mr Barclay added.

Not everyone in Santa Cruz knows how to make banana fibre basket, only a few families in Santa Cruz have the talent to make the banana basket.

 

 

 

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