MADAGASCAR'S MOST WIDE-SPREAD VILLAGE INDUSTRY
Mats are the most noticeable article of furniture in Malagasy homes.
All over the country material for making them is abundant, and in
every village women can be seen plaiting them on the ground outside
their houses. The finest and strongest mats are made by the Sihanaka,
whose houses have a very clean and neat appearance owing to the number
of mats they contain
WEAVING MATS FROM THE PEEL OF FEATHERY SEDGES
From the strong outer peel of the sedge called zozoro excellent floor
mats are made, some as much as eight yards long. All Malagasy women
can make these mats, and in some tribes deem it a disgrace to buy one.
The pith of the plant supplies stuffing for pillows and mattresses, and
the triangular stems fitted together are used for doors, window-shutters,
and bedsteads. These dusky and industrious workers squat thus for hours
patiently keeping to their monotonous task in domestic manufacture