Orang Ulu weavers, on island of Borneo, weave way into World Records Book
As quoted in the Borneo Post: “When we were born, we were laid on a mat during the naming ceremony. When we die, our bodies will be wrapped using a mat. It symbolises our entrance into this world and also our departure from this world.” With the collaboration of a number of Orang Ulu tribes, the weaving tradition is being kept alive and even growing. Case in point? Participants from 30 different “longhouses” have made worlds longest woven rotan mat at 1128 meters (0.7 miles). There is a documentary on this culturally cool creation in the works, we’ll let you know when it’s out.
Love socks or “Love Socks”? Remotest island says yeah!
We know that many knitters love to knit socks. But have you knit “Love Socks”? The inhabitants on the world’s most remote island, Tristan Da Cunha, half way between South Africa and South America, have a tradition of showing their affection and intentions with Love Socks. Whether you love to knit socks or not, this story is sure to inspire. If you don’t love to knit socks, you can order them directly from the island. (Just be prepared to wait, the only way to the island is a once-monthly, 6-day ferry, so shipping is slow). According to the Tristan Da Cunha website:
“In the old days the community of Tristan was rather shy and so were people of few words. Love and affection was often shown by gestures and one particular gesture was the knitting of socks, which held a special significance.
“When a young man wanted to court a young lady he would visit the parents house bringing a small gift and sit with the family in the kitchen. The father would know this was a sign that the man had an interest in one of his daughters. The young lady in question would in turn knit a pair of socks for her young admirer, depending on the number of colours and stripes on the socks, the young man would know how fond she was of him. If the young man was happy with the message his socks showed, he would take this as a sign of the young lady’s affection and make her a pair of moccasins, which was always previously done by her father. The young lady would then offer to wash his clothes and this was a sign that they were formally engaged and a marriage would follow shortly.”
Or, if you’re up for knitting your own (or get impatient while waiting to propose to your love) their website also has a “key” to the meaning of the stripped socks… Knit up some sock love! Oh, and please, pretty please, if you propose with socks, write back to us and let us know!