Faces of Bougainville: The Basket Weaver

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

“Basket Weaver” / Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea / December 2012

Indeed, the coconut palm is a tree of life for most of the Pacific Islanders.  I found this lady in an inland village perched on the kitchen table while busy weaving a basket from coconut fronds.  In this part of the globe, the coconut is a major source of income through its dessicated meat — the copra; food from the coconut meat, milk and juice; building materials from the sturdy coconut lumber; as well as bags and other trinkets (see Tropical Fruits Facts and Legends: Coconut – The Tree of Life).

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

“Basket Girl” / Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea / December 2012

In Bougainville, the coconut frond basket appears to be a preferred material for packing sweet potatoes and other farm goods so they can be brought home or delivered to the market.  In another village, I found this young lady who just came from gathering coconuts and was happy to model the basket for my camera.

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