Basket Weaving in Traditional Attire

The basket almost complete, with only the handle to go is being weaved using traditional methods. Bamboo reeds are found all along the river banks in Lebanon. Although not as strong as chinese bamboo, the process of preparation is fairly similar. The outer leaf is removed and the bamboo is laid out on the floor where it is stamped on until it cracks. When it cracks, it is soaked in water until it becomes flexible, so they can spin it around and not break in their hand.

Using a knife and a rubber guard over the finger to prevent from being cut, the weaver begins his tiresome work. The Knife can be seen to have been worn from excessive use, a testament to his hard work. With one basket already for sale and one unfinished, an axe on the floor and sickles along the walls, one gets an idea of the tools used. Sickles used for bamboo are smaller than those used for wheat. They are sharpened on both sides for many uses.

The picture portrays a hard working Lebanese man. I say that because when I made him pose his hand had been disfigured from arthritis due to his life of long hard work, so I had to make slight adjustments in the painting.