The Art of Weaving: A Time-Honored World Treasure - P2/2    
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Hallo, artistic viewers. Welcome to A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television for the second and final part of our program on the timeless traditions of weaving. Yesterday we were introduced to cloth weaving practices of Turkey, East Timor and Cyprus.

Today, we will visit three other countries to explore weaving in the context of ethnic handicrafts. First, please join us for a trip to the Republic of Uganda of East Africa.

Now ladies and gentlemen, I am Ayimbisibwe Catherine. Where I am, it is called Sumba Bukaluba. Now I am going to show you how to weave a Buganda cultural basket. We get this from banana leaves for weaving. This is the mid vein of the banana leaf. This is how we do it. After drying them, they look like this.

Then we begin our cultural basket. We put a little water on the mid vein of the leaf so that it becomes soft and cannot break. This is the needle we use to weave our basket. Now I have begun. I pierce first, make a knot, and pierce again. And weave. And tie real tight. This is how the Buganda cultural basket is made. It takes me two days to complete this basket. After the food is ready, we place it in this basket and served from this basket.

This cultural basket is taken to the garden and sweet potatoes are put in it after being dug up. Then they are carried back home. It helps in carrying raw food and cooked food as well. These cultural baskets have a lot of uses. Any Muganda woman must have this basket to help her in the home.

Besides banana leaves, palms leaves are also a popular raw material for craft weaving. Let’s find out how palms leaves are used to make floor mats.

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. I am a member of this village called Bukaluba. My name is Nabulime Harriet. My job is to make mats. When I am going to start weaving mats, I first cut palm leaves. After cutting, I lay them out in the compound to dry. Then I boil them in colors I want. I boil them in purple and green. I also leave some white. I make three colors. When starting my mat, I begin like this. I put the cut palms first, then start from the bottom of the mat to make it strong.

Then weave this side while turning to this side and that, also adding more palms. On one side you weave three times, and the other also three times. Within my mat, I have to include poles to make it strong. These are called poles. We put them on either side for the mat to be straight, without being crooked. This is how big it is on completion.

Let’s now go from beautiful East Africa, across to the Indian Ocean, and arrive at the South Eastern Asian country of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Here our host is weaving a traditional dish cover called tudung dulang.

My name is Jauyah Binti Hj Ali from Kampong Lorong Dalam. I was born in Kampong Lorong Dalam 66 years ago. I learnt the art of weaving tudung dulang (dish cover) from my mother for about 20 years. I have completed various types of tudung dulang (dish cover); many of them have become the choices of locals and foreigners. My wish for this art is that it will flourish well into the future.

First, pandanus leaves are separated into pieces, boiled like this, to form this. Slit the stem, remove the thorns like this, and boil all of them. Once completed, have them all folded like this. Look here, the folds are boiled like this. Boil them, drain them; once drained, dry them in the sun, and have them soaked for a minute.

Once dried, roll them like this. Then we dye them. Pandanus, napong, silat and pelang leaves are all the materials required. Four types only, four types of leaves. First, do it this way; once completed, cut it. Once cut, make the edge like this from the bottom. Once completed from the bottom, dry them in the sun. Once dried, make a frame, starting from the bottom, like this.

Once completed, raise the frame. Once all are crossed, you may start stitching, like this. First this one, twice this one, thrice this one, four or five times. Once completed, add another edge at the bottom. Complete the bottom one, then the top one; do it for all. From here you just use your own creativity to make it look nicer. You may have it colored.

Once made, the food covers are sent to craft stores and sold as souvenirs. Let’s take a look at a neighborhood gift shop.

My name is Hajah Norma Hajah Latif. This is my shop. All shops here carry things made in Brunei. As you can see here, plenty, right? Like this tudung dulang (dish cover), it’s modernized, made in Brunei. All are made in Brunei. This old one, mothers used it in the past 50 years to cover food. Nowadays it’s used in weddings to cover dowry, like jewelry. People always choose to use it.

This is a hat; we call this “siraung.” It’s made from leaves also. This is made from leaves for those sellers on boats. Sellers on boats in the past were women. Rowing from one village to another, they use this to cover their heads from the sun and rain. This one, we call “takiding,” made in Brunei also. The handmade takiding, from bamboo or rattan. This one is for carrying paddy from the paddy field. Takiding is quite durable; it takes two to three years to be worn out.

This is a “takung” (colander), made from bamboo. It’s used for washing vegetables. After washing, if the vegetables are left in the takung, water is drained. That’s the use of it. This is “bahai” (basket). The small bahais are for decorations. This is a large bahai. It is used to carry fruits. It’s made from rattan, sometimes made from bamboo as well. Fruits such as durian, rambutan, mampangat... People carry it on their back.

Nowadays, the items and their materials are taught in schools. This means that Bruneians appreciate the traditional heritage. We have produced our very own Bruneian products ourselves. That is what makes Bruneians proud.

From floor mats to baskets, from dish covers to hats, woven crafts have been widely used in households for hundreds of years. Let’s go back to Africa and see how the same basic technique is used in Cameroon to create furniture such as chairs.

Greetings, everyone. I’m Mr. Kameni Joseph, and I’m a craftsman, based here in Douala, Cameroon. I specialize in the conception and construction of cane products, such as chairs, tables, cupboards, sofas, beds etc. The material we use in the production of these items is called cane. Cane is long and the length varies between 2 and 10 meters, and even more.

We call this model “cocoon.” The structure is made of big cane. And to finish, to render it more aesthetic, we embellish it with small cane. That’s how it is. He is heating it up as you can see; and that heat permits him to fold the cane and produce different pieces. That will serve as the frame of the chair. Right, once folded, we can unfold it. Right. You see how the technician’s hands are very agile, very apt. Thank you.

And that is how we shall obtain our chair, after assembling all the different pieces. Yes, what we see here at the moment are small canes, called liane. They are scrubbed and folded. They have been folded. It’s with it that we embellish the chairs, after scrubbing them. Good, this is still in its raw state. This is how it comes out from the forest. This one is a square chair, a little high as you can see.

It’s also made of big cane. And now, we embellish it with liane. This time, the liane are split. And you see how it is woven and how the structure is covered by these lianes. Products produced from cane are very good for the environment. When we cut them in the wild, others grow immediately and as such, the forest stays preserved. They are cheap and economical and help us to express our culture and our creativity. Many Cameroonians, as well as expatriates, like cane products.

This encourages us to continue to seek the bettering of this work. We also train young people so that this art is preserved for future generations. We thank Supreme Master Television for coming to sympathize with us and for featuring our creativity.

Our many thanks, Ms. Ayimbisibwe Catherine, Ms. Nabulime Harriet, Ms. Jauyah Binti Hj Ali, Ms. Hajah Norma Hajah Latif, and Mr. Kameni Joseph, for kindly sharing your vast knowledge and expertise. Wishing you the best of success in the continuation and development of your precious craft.

The art of weaving provides practical items which help us in many daily activities, besides enriching us with the intangible values that are treasured by each culture. With Heaven’s blessings, may this time-honored heritage flourish evermore, bringing more cherished creations and beauty to our world.

Gentle viewers, thank you for your loving presence on today’s episode of A Journey through Aesthetic Realms. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Up next is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, after Noteworthy News. May your heart and soul resonate with God’s eternal love.
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January . 2021