Monday, 6 February 2012 8:40 AM

Making Cane Baskets for a Living

In the streets of Honiara, selling of cultural items to make ends meet is a common sight.

Catching up with two arts and craft makers from north-east Guadalcanal, Mr. Saeni and Sam Sai, the street sellers told Solomon Times their history in making cane baskets.

"Making of cane baskets has existed in our community over the years, from our elder people who got the influence from the Western Province in the late 60s," the two sellers revealed.

Mr. Saeni said the skills has been passed down for generations and "the knowledge and skills gained has helped generate income."

He explained that making this type of product takes about 2-3 months "because it is hard work and you need to pay more attention when making this work of art".

The two skilled weavers said that marketing cane baskets is becoming very much influenced by villagers in Guadalcanal.

The strings used to weave the cane basket is known as 'asa', which are small strings mainly found in the bush.

Mr. Sai said the cost for cane produces vary from SB$600 - SB$1500 due to the fact that it is hard work for the actual outcome.

"There's a lot of work put into weaving just one product, so the cost is priced on the amount of labour involved," he said.