From baskets to hats to even helicopters, this eco-friendly art is highly recommended for those who are looking for some relaxation at no cost and are interested in culture. In the past, the Maldivians depended on mainly two things for an income, and one of these two is a tree. The coconut palm played a huge role in their lives. Every part of the tree was used for purposeful reasons, including the leaves.
Thatching, locally called fangi vinun, is using dried coconut palm fronds and coir rope to make palm thatch, which was used as roofs and wall covers in the past. But as cultural tourism grows to be more popular and fewer people engage in the practice, fangi is now more commonly used for decoration purposes. This was many people’s way of earning a living and it showed hard work and entrepreneurial spirit.
Palm leaf weaving was not only popular among adults but also children. Recently, Sheraton Maldives uploaded a video on their social media, making a helicopter out of palm leaves by request from a little guest. This shows that art is not only fascinating to adults but children as well who’d love to play with it as a toy. And palm hats are not only eco-friendly but also gives a lovely tropical look when you wear it- very Instagrammable!
This festive season, you should definitely attempt to learn this craft. Perhaps, it might turn out to be one of the best memories of Maldives you take along with you back home.