Traditional woven baskets are earning the local people a good income at Manphar village, Indaw township, Katha district in Sagaing Region.
“The villagers are skilled in basket weaving, which has been passed down from our forefathers. We have to collect two species of bamboo from the Kywe Kyaw, Wet Tha Inn and Hto Kya mountains, which are situated near our village to weave the baskets”, said Ma Zin Mar Aung, a local basket weaver from Manphar village. “Then, we will split the bamboo into thin strips. When coal bamboo is scarce, we have to collect the bamboo from other regions which are far away from our village. The body of the basket is woven with the bamboo thin strips and handles are woven with cane only.
The bottom of the baskets are also woven with cane to make them strong. We can finish weaving eight baskets per day if we start in the morning.”
Ma Zin Mar Aung said there are around 1,000 family members from 203 houses in her village. Some villagers weave baskets the whole year, but many work on farms during the rainy season. A basket is usually sold for Ks 2,600, but the price goes up slightly to Ks3,000 in the rainy season because only a few local villagers make the baskets during that time, she said.
The baskets are mainly sent to Moe Hnyin, Hopbin, Moekaung townships and Inndawgyi region by train.
“Our village earns the main family income from basket weaving”, said Ma Zin Mar Khine, a local basket weaver from Man phar village.
Maung Chit Lin (Inndaw)