North Ambae’s very own product is an all-weather basket like no other basket.
It is tough and an ideal basket that you can rely on both in an urban community as well as in a rural village.
The basket can be filled with heavy shopping without any fear of any tear. It can also keep cooked food from going bad inside as it allows air to filter through the tiny holes throughout the basket.
According to the owner of Tropical Coconut Products, Esline Aru, who comes from North Ambae, the copyright of the origin of the basket must go to the two sisters from Vuiberugu Village at Lombaha. “They were the first women to make the basket”, says the young entrepreneur.
What the two sisters did was shred dried pandanus leaves into fine ropes then rub the ropes together to intertwine to create a stronger rope which they then use to weave or sew their basket. It takes longer to make the basket.
When visitors ask for information about the product she says, “I weave a story round the basket by explaining how it is made, where it comes from and assure them with pride that I myself, come from Lombaha the area where the basket is made.
“I am proud to confirm that the difference between the Ambae basket and a normal basket is that just by touching it, you know that it is robust and cannot be torn like normal basket”.
She says it can be used as a shopping basket and a woman can see everything that she puts inside to make sure she does not forget anything especially her car key.
Esline Aru is about to order more of the same basket from North Ambae.
Tropical Coconut Products also sells coconut oil and coconut soap and most things made out of coconut. Anyone wishing to visit her booth is most welcome to go to the Vanuatu Handikraf Senta.