If you are on vacation in Martinique, you will have the opportunity to visit its splendid beaches and others, but also, you will be able to see the local culture by discovering the clothing styles such as the bakoua hat. Thus, you can discover the traditional workshops of braiding and basketry. A hat from an ancestral tree: the Bakoua The bakoua whose scientific name is pandanus utilis, is a tropical tree whose leaves are used for the manufacture of the bakoua hat. This hat is an essential accessory of the clothing culture in Martinique. Indeed, you will find it in the various local markets and craft shops. The bakoua is a tree that you will not be able to miss during your stay in Martinique, because it can reach up to 20 meters and it has fan-shaped leaves that can have 2 meters in circumference, hard and lined with thorns . The bakoua is really a very imposing tree. Besides making the hat, the bakoua is also used to make baskets and many other basketry items. How is the bakoua hat made? The manufacturing of the bakoua hat is the result of an artisanal process which requires a lot of time and therefore a lot of patience. Indeed, since manufacturing requires almost 20 meters of leaf strips, it is important that the leaves of the tree are prepared beforehand. The leaves will be scraped off with a knife and then separated into thin strips. Thereafter, the ends of the leaves will be wedged between the weaver’s toes, then braided into mats in variable dimensions depending on the style to be given to the hat.
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