The Satrana
It is another type of palm typical of Madagascar, which can be used to make a multitude of objects. The result is smoother and shinier than raffia. The natural color is between light gray and off-white. It may have some green undertones. This fiber dyes a little less than raffia, due to its smooth appearance which absorbs less color.
During our trip in April 2023, we hiked long trails bordered by these palm trees.
The whole leaves are dried and used to make the roofs of the small houses that we see almost everywhere in the northwest, towards Mahajanga.
Beach parasols are also made with this palm, which is solid, resistant and insulates from the rain.
The associative workshop with which we work in Mahajanga works with raffia and also satrana. Artisans specialize in one or other of these plant fibers.
The entire satrana palm is used for the roofs of houses.
It can also be braided to make mats, like very light rugs to unroll and on which you place yourself on the ground to work.
For suspensions, we use kira, the hard part of the leaf.
We braid it like cane, it is the garaba stitch, which means the star stitch.
Julia is particularly productive and makes around ten lampshades per week!
These lampshades were present in a very beautiful accumulation in the magnificent hotel 45 minutes' drive from Mahajanga, at the end of the world, where we were lucky enough to stay.

Marie Alix W