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The vacoa braiding, a tradition in Mauritius


The vacoa braiding, a tradition in Mauritius

You surely have seen or bought a vacoa braided basket in a bazar in Mauritius ? the braiding of vacoa is a real tradition in Mauritius.

If you want to discover this art craft, umoov can guide you to an interesting cultural outing:
You can visit the workshop Utilis in the south of Mauritius, which represents the association of artisans and pandanus planters.
The pandanus also called vacoa is a tropical plant which has the shape of an umbrella. It is not a palm tree although it looks like one.
Its leaves can measure up to 1,5 m;  these are used as the base for braided work.

The ladies who work in the atelier will start by removing the thorns and cut the leaves into thin straps then these are left to dry, usually in the sun on the roof of the workshop.
Once dried, each strap will need to be softened; usually this operation is done manually with the help of a knife.
After that, the thorough brading work can start.
It is very interesting to see these ladies at work, sitting on the ground, quiet, concentrated…. It is almost as if they were medidating while brading; it is a long and precise exercice.
In the shop you will find many handmade creations such as baskets, hats, bags…

If you wish to know more about the Mauritian artcraft,  zoom on umoov interactive map!