From Leaves to Furniture, The Story of a Furniture Builder
Hyphaene coriacea (minala in the local language) is a multi-use palm, widely distributed in the coastal plains of southern Mozambique. Various parts of this species are harvested by local people to develop a range of products including traditional beverages from the sap, and leaves for roofing, fencing and weaving, all of which play vital roles in the livelihoods of local people. The strength and length of the leaf fibres characteristic of this palm, make them particularly suitable for use as weaving material to produce baskets, sieves, mats, brooms, furniture and other utensils. Prior to being used for weaving, the leaves are collected before fully open, split into strands and then dried. Raul Sebastião Nhancume is a furniture builder who makes a living using the leaves of this palm species.