June Helps to Revive Renbels Traditional Coconut Basket Weaving.

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June T Manakako holding the coconut weaving basket she created.

June T. Manakako, 33, from Bellona island, Renbel province, lives in Honiara and brings her home island’s traditional crafts to town.

“The coconut basket weaving is a very special basket in my Renbel culture. It was used for carrying water and drinking from in the olden days,” she said.

“It is like today’s bottle – used for carrying water when travelling to the garden or to another place.”

June started making coconut baskets in 2004, learning from the people from her village.

“This special basket takes a huge amount of work and today it is very expensive,” she said. “It is made from coconut shell and pandanas leaves,” she said of a display on her stall at the Melanesian Arts Festival earlier in the year.

“Since I started to weave, I loved so much what I engaged in that I decided to carry on using my skills and ability to create little weaving products that will help to revive the traditional products of Renbel province,” said June who now lives at White River.

“I am very happy and overjoyed in having this opportunity t show out my traditional products to other island friends and to expose my cultural products that others also may see and learn.”

June is married with four children and is still planning on weaving more other traditional products to promote the wonderful possessions of her culture.