Papua New Guinea

ARTISANS:
212

POVERTY RATE:
30%

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

“Papua New Guinea is a diverse country with over 1,000 different ethnic groups and over 800 languages. The population is around 8 million.  It is one of the poorest countries in the Pacific. Many citizens live in the rural poverty-which causes agriculture to suffer. The health system is unable to affectively help citizens at a successful rate-especially in the rural areas.” (The Borgen Project)

The rural area we are located in has few roads and can be extremely dangerous. Ten by Three decided to donate money and supplies to get around a large road block. Funding this portion of the road gave locals a greater access to the market. 

RAW MATERIAL

Quality baskets are woven from mature plants. By cutting and pulling the mature plants out from the tangled and dense sites, the artisans are actually maintaining the population of Gleichenia and preventing the dense pile of mature plants from being susceptible to fire which protects the forest.

The white is the inside part of the mature Gleichenia with green leaves. The brown is the inside part of the mature Gleichenia and the black color is derived by soaking the Gleichenia vine in the mud of a nearby creek.

If the artisan wants to use the natural brown color of the vine, virtually no material preparation is necessary except wetting the vine–this not only cleans it but makes it pliable for weaving.  If the artisan wants a lighter color to help create patterns they use a machete, carefully stripping the darker outer coating off the vine while it lies across their arm. Some artisans also strip the vine using a can with a hole punched in either side. They then pull the vine through it which strips off the brown outer coating.

TECHNIQUE: “Coil” weaving pattern and “stitched” together with the Gleichenia

TIME FRAME: It takes the average Papua New Guinean artisan 5 days to weave a basket.

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