Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A (not so old) favourite

This morning I stumbled across this beautiful, little, dyed pandanus basket in one of my 'places to keep special things'. I remember that I bought this basket in Krabi, but am thinking it must have been 10 years ago, which was well before I began working with natural fibres. Anyway, I estimate that I have moved homes a good 15 times in the last ten years so am impressed that the little basket and I are still together.

Pandanus leaves and this style of weaving are used by women in Southern Thailand; my mother-in-law used to work like this (before she became addicted to daytime TV) and used to always have pandanus drying under and around her house. Most of the older women I know in Krabi have skills in preparing and weaving pandanus for floor mats and I have seen in some of the Urak Lawoi (sea gypsy) communities I have been to, that pandanus weaving is still very much alive. Unfortunately though, so many places in Southern Thailand have become overrun with tourism and invaded by Tescos and Macros that artforms like these and traditional weaving skills are rapidly being lost.

No comments: