Tucked away in the small village of Vieux Grand Port is an old building with a long cool veranda strewn with Vacoas leaves – some just cut and others drying. The heart of the building is an expansive room filled with women cutting, weaving and sewing every type of basket you can imagine. The chatter of the ladies as their children played around their feet took me back to times I have only read about.
These are the women basket weavers of the south, who create the most beautiful products out of the Pandanus or Vacoas plant. There are over 100 women in this region who prepare stages of the basket weaving to complete the baskets. Since the Wakashio disaster, it is these women who are now supporting their fishermen husbands.