The Jippi Jappa palm grows wild in the rainforest and often in abandoned fields. The shoots and flowers are edible and the young palms can be used as a material to be woven into beautiful baskets. The young palm frond is first stripped of its central core, The Mayan women rip the fresh leaves of the jipijapa plant. Those leaves need to be boiled for about half an hour. Like that the fibres can get the typical beige color and become softer, so it is easier to work with them, Afterwards she put them to dry in the sun for one to two days. If she don't boil the leaves, and let them just dry, their light green colour changes to a dark brown.
How to make the basket
The Mayan women held a bundle of fibers (maybe 6 to 8) tightly together and twisted another around the outside of the bundle. Once she produced a few inches of rope-like covered bundle, she began to start making a tight coil. She then used one line and a needle to sew a loop anchoring the outer coil to the inside every quarter of an inch. She kept repeating the process and adding to the coil until she got the desired shape and size for the bottom of her basket. Then she brought up the edges by tightly sewing the next coils closer together and vertical. She use both, the light and the unboiled dark fibres, to make a design by using the different colours. She made a beautiful basket which was so tightly woven you would think it could hold water. The lid, created separately, matched perfectly the basket, and was snug enough that it wouldn't fall off when turned upside-down. The weaving process takes about two days for a middle size basket, up to a week for a big one. We place the baskets once more in the sun, before they can be used or sold.
The one you purchase may vary in color and grain. We assure you that each item is individually hand made. If you have any concerns, please contact us for questions.