Friday, October 1, 2010

Madame La Rousse Jn. Pierre

I love meeting the older generation in Haiti. I can only imagine all of the things they have endured throughout their lives, and yet they still carry on with joy and grace. You can sense their strength and you can't help but want to learn from them.

This is Madame La Rousse Jn. Pierre.
She is 81 years old and the last person in Cazale to know an intricate style of weaving that is used to make baskets. The younger generation has taken to a simpler method of weaving, that while being faster, lacks the beauty and style of the earlier ways.

She has been making these long containers for many, many years. In Haiti they are often used to carry tools to work.

Her mother died when she was three years old and her father was bed ridden. Her father couldn't read or write and they needed some way to survive. She watched people make things...and her and her father taught themselves how to weave.
I tried to picture her and her dad sitting together weaving, talking, and enjoying their time together.

I enjoyed watching her work. Thinking of the years that have passed in her life and how much she has experienced at different times when she was making these same containers. She has had 13 kids. Only 6 of them are alive today. She had 2 sets of twins and both sets died. Can you imagine? Her surviving children have all left Haiti, sadly because it was the best way to earn a living and send money back to support themselves and their mother.

She survives and hopes to have enough to eat through the money her children send her and from making these containers.
I could have just sat and watched her for hours.

These are the fibers from a plant that is used to braid around the lid of the container and also makes the strap.

We are hoping that Madame Jn. Pierre will teach some of the younger generation in Haiti to carry on this beautiful tradition and then they will be able to earn an income from it as a result. I can't imagine this weaving technique just disappearing. We are going to do all we can to make sure it doesn't.

We will have some of these containers (and some small storage containers) available for sale, lovingly handmade by Madame La Rousse Jn. Pierre, in our future kits and online.

Own a piece of the greatness made by this wonderful woman!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing her story. What a beautiful woman! Amy

Roberta said...

Thanks Amy! She really was inspiring. I hope I will be the poised and strong at her age!


buffata said...

I look forward to owning a piece of this history and telling my children about the woman that worked and endured her whole life in Haiti. Its such a blessing. She is a beautiful woman, thank you for sharing her story.