Weaver

An old man sits outside in the streets of the village, diligently at work making chairs with wooden legs and a tightly woven seat made from straw. The mans hands are pressed together as he works the straw, twisting pieces together to make rope for weaving through the seat. The straw is carefully prepared by soaking it in water until it is able to twist and bend.

We see the weaver has almost completed his first chair for the day, and is prepared for a full days work with supplies all around him. He has the base of a chair to his right, a pile of wooden legs to his left, and plenty of straw beside him. Behind him and leaning against the wall is a very old and traditional hand saw used to cut the wood for the legs of the chairs.

This method of weaving chairs exists today in only two stores in Tripoli, Lebanon. While now the men make both the chair frame and weave the seats, in older times the men would saw and prepare the wood and frame of the chair and the women would weave the straw seats. This traditional chair weaving appears to be a dying art form as the younger generation is not interested in learning the trade.

The weaver depicted in the painting wears the traditional Lebanese clothes with white shirt and vest, the pants known as sherwal, and the hat is a lebedeh.