Mother Nature
30 Apr 2021

Mauritius: Aloe Fibres Industry!

 

Known under the scientific name of Furcrea Gigantea, it is uncertain whether this plant from which fibre is extracted was originally of indigenous growth or introduced in the island of Mauritius.  It is believed that it was imported in 1790 for ornamental purposes.

 

As early though as 1701, the Dutch Governor Roelof Deodati, Italian by birth was able to supply an English vessel calling for repairs with inter alia, rigging and cordage of local manufacture. The Furcrea Gigantea thrives remarkably well in Mauritius, requiring no cultivation and no attention. In 1909, there were some 34 aloe fibre manufacturing industries, most of which were situated in the district of Black River, on low altitude.

 

Practical immunity from damage of cyclones, the fibres were used to make “gunny’ or goni bags, very helpful to pack and ship agricultural commodities. Goni bags were intricately linked to the Sugar Industry and to Mauritian lives.  One of latest ‘Goni’ bags manufacturing industry to close down was at Victoria Avenue in Quatre-Bornes.

 

With the prohibition of single plastic use commodities, woven aloe fiber bags which are very breathable fabrics are becoming trendy and are crafted nowadays to produce original pieces of art.

 

Why not end up with a Mauritian proverb?  An empty ‘goni’ bag cannot stand on its own!

 

Lza M Natur

Other articles

  • Coconut once I hold you, I can’t get enough!
    06 Jul 2018

    Lying back on a deckchair, facing the turquoise lagoon of crystal water down in the South West of Mauritius, with an outstretched arm, I liberally applied refined coconut oil on my skin

    Read more
  • July 14th...from Tricolor to Four Bands..So far, and yet so near….
    12 Jul 2018

    While occasionally strolling through the cobbled streets of Port-Louis, lined with basalt structured buildings, I am inevitably reminded of the French presence in the city, in the country.

    Read more
  • Mauritius: Champs de Mars. A Passion
    19 Jul 2018

    Champs de Mars (oldest racetrack in the southern hemisphere) situated at Port Louis is at its boiling point. Saturday horse racing is in the starting block.

    Read more