Palm Frond or Lauhala Weaving

Aloha!  I am a great believer of creating art out of what is in our environment (natural or otherwise) and I am never more inspired than on the Hawaiian Islands.  There is a reason so many artists live there and there is an art gallery around nearly every corner and in every small town.

While visiting Ho’nau’nau, the royal refuge on the Big Island ths summer, I came across Toro Fujimoro from Kealakekua who was showing tourists the art of Lauhala Weaving.  Lauhala means “leaves of the Hala tree” in Hawaiian … Hala being Palm.  The Coconut Palm is considered the “Tree of Life” in Hawaii.  It wasn’t just art objects woven from the palm fronds, but essential things like bowls, hats, baskets, and mats, as well as toys.

Toro taught us the beginner project of weaving an Angel Fish.  Here is my final result.  Leaving and fraying the ends of the fronds create a beautiful long tail of the fish.

Since my meeting up with Toro I am very interested in this type of weaving and am itching to get at my neighbors tree … (-:  I purchased a used instruction book on the subject  and am looking forward to experimenting more with this art form.  “What are Fronds Fro?” is a great book for beginners.  It now only has very good instructions for projects, but talks about proper frond preparation etc. (not too much water in the frond!)

Palm fronds aren’t the only material that can be used to weave … how about ribbon?  or paper strips?! 

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