In the last few days I’ve been having lessons about the traditional craft mom and dad kept talking about, and believe me it was hard. Nonetheless, I had a great time knowing how my parents lived and what they had to go through.
They had to live in farms and had to move from one to another periodically. So, they had to build houses from palm trees to stay at. They built different houses for summer and winter. One with close leaves and the other with separated ones. Their simple life depended a lot on palm trees. Not only in building houses and eating dates but in creating many other tools too and that’s why they had to learn this craft.
This craft is basically braiding palm tree leaves to turn them to a usable tool. I sent a miniature “sufra” to Marie, they used it as a rug to eat upon.
Here are the steps that mom does before she starts braiding the leaves:
First she colors the leaves by boiling them in water with the desired color, then she dries them in the sun (to assure that the color won’t fade later on). Later, she puts them in water along with the non colored leaves to make them flexible. Then she starts braiding.
Number of leaves to braid differs from one item to another, for “sufra” for example they use 6 leaves, while in “Haseer” what they slept at they use much more.
A few pictures I took while mom was teaching me:
She twists the leaves at the end to create a neat border (sorry no pictures for that 😦 ). At the end, mom sews this braid forming a circle. When it dries up completely mom trims the excess leaves.
If you’re interested click here to watch a short video for mom braiding.
I won’t say that I learnt how to do it :P, but I won’t give up just yet. I’ll ask mom for another lesson, and will have fun listening to the funny stories about mom’s childhood. 😀