Posted by: Dr. Y. | April 23, 2011

Le raffia ou le bambou africain/ Raffia or the African bamboo

Le palmier de raphia
le palmier de raphia/
Raffia palm tree

Le raphia (raffia) est un des nombreux palmiers qui poussent à travers l’Afrique, plus particulièrement en Afrique centrale, et à Madagascar.  L’arbre de raphia (raphia farinifera ou raphia ruffia) a de très longues feuilles qui peuvent atteindre jusqu’à 18 m de long.  Chaque branche du raphia peut avoir au moins 100 petites feuilles.  La fibre de raphia, telle celle de jute, est douce, flexible et robuste.  Le raphia est utilisé en Afrique pour diverses utilisations, notamment pour faire des meubles de maison (tabouret, table), pour faire les toitures internes des maisons, les lits (communément appelé lit de bambou de raphia), de longues ficelles pour grimper sur les arbres; mais aussi dans l’industrie vestimentaire, pour faire des chapeaux, des paniers, etc.  A Madagascar, la fibre de raphia est aussi utilisée pour concevoir une tenue vestimentaire traditionelle appelée rabanne.  Aujourd’hui, la fibre de raphia est exportée à travers le monde!  Cherchez bien… vous retrouverez le raphia dans votre maison!

Anna Sui Raffia purse

Anna Sui Raffia purse

Dans la video qui suit (du Cameroun), vous assisterez à la fabrication d’un tabouret traditionnel fait à base de bambou de raphia!

The raphia (raffia) is one of the numerous palm tree species found in Africa, particularly in central Africa and Madagascar.  The raffia palm tree (raphia farinifera or raphia ruffia) is made of long leaves that can attain up to 60 ft (18 m) in length. Each raffia palm branch is made of nearly 100 leaflets. The raffia fiber, just like jute, is soft, pliable, and strong.  Raffia is used in Africa for various applications such as to make furniture (table, chairs), internal roofs to houses, beds, to make ropes used to tie up plants, and binding together vegetables to be marketed; but also in the clothing industry to make hats, shoes, baskets, and mats. 
Raffia baskets

Raffia baskets

In Madagascar, people use raffia to make a native cloth known as rabanne.  Today, the raffia fiber is exported throughout the world.  Look carefully,… you might find some raffia lying around the house!

The following video shows the fabrication of a chair using the raffia bamboo, in Cameroon. Enjoy!


  1. […] statique fabrique aussi des chaussures, en utilisant soit la peau de chèvre tannée ou du raffia avec lesquels il fabrique des chaussures communément appelee ‘Samara‘, ou du […]


  2. […] pouvait faire des paniers, des chaises robustes, des chapeaux, etc. C’est comme si le raffia glissait sur ses doigts.  Les outils étaient très simples et rudimentaires: un couteau, et le […]


  3. I got what you intend,bookmarked, extremely good internet site .


  4. Thank you, I have just been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far.


  5. Can I simply say what a relief to search out someone who really is aware of what they’ re talking about on the internet. You definitely know the way to bring a problem gently and make it important. Extra people must learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more in style because you undoubtedly have the gift.


  6. […] made from the bark of trees, with some fabric particularly made from the obom.  Fibers from the raffia are still commonly used to make bags, and clothing.  Moreover, in West Cameroon, Kings are […]


  7. Hi my name is Jean-Paul Zephire and i’m from mauritius island. I’m a blind rafia manufacturer. Autually i’m looking for raw materials ( rafia) for my business. i’m on facebook if you want to see my products. if someone can contact me for such business… thanks in advance


  8. […] like Barbie dolls. The only other option was to make our own dolls with wool, bamboo, wood, raffia, and others. For a parent looking to offer his daughter, or niece a “hip” […]


  9. […] made from the bark of trees, with some fabric particularly made from the obom.  Fibers from theraffia are still commonly used to make bags, and clothing.  Moreover, in West Cameroon, Kings are […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: