Buri Palm

The Philippines is abundant in raw materials, including Raffia.  This long undervalued fiber comes from the Buri Palm (Corypha elata Roxb), the grandest endemic palm in the Philippines.  It is slow-growing, perennial.  Its height reaches up to 20-40 meters and can yield three types of fibers: Buri, Raffia and Buntal.

A mature fan-like leaf, which can grow up to 3 feet, yields Buri when it is dried.  The wide Buri fiber when flattened can be woven into the popular Lucban and Baliuag hats of Quezon, mats and rarely, as roof thatch. When the leaves are yet unopened, it can be harvested to produce Raffia.  The leaf sheath is delicately hand cut and a thin membrane is extracted.  This can be split into finer fibers, dyed and woven into fabric.  The leaf stem produces Buntal fibers, hand-pulled to separate individually.  However, the planter must choose which fiber he would like to harvest, either only Raffia or only Buntal.  Buri palm cannot give both at once.

The harvesting of the leaf and leaf stem does not harm the palm. The labor intensive manual extraction of both the Raffia and Buntal fibers can develop the skills and employ a community. Furthermore, aside from the seeds of the Buri palm being raw materials for beads and buttons, its trunk can be used to produce sugar, starch and native wine.

The Buri Palm, also known to the Ilocanos as the century plant, flowers only once in its long life span. After it has produced seeds, it reaches the end of its life.

Sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii3BzBpsAV0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILkb5_sW6PY
http://philippinenativeforesttrees.blogspot.com/2010/02/buri-or-bulilargest-palm-tree-in.html
http://www.bohol-philippines.com/raffia-loomweaving-of-inabanga.html
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Buri.html
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/25577/lifestyle/ilocos-town-unrolls-longest-mat-at-1st-buri-festival
http://www.nzdl.org/gsdlmod?e=d-00000-00—off-0hdl–00-0—-0-10-0—0—0direct-10—4——-0-1l–11-en-50—20-about—00-0-1-00-0–4—-0-0-11-10-0utfZz-8-00&a=d&cl=CL2.18.5&d=HASH01df274fb229ae826f6d2355.14
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s