Maldives Arts & Crafts
Traditional Maldivian Crafts, Lacquer Work, Fangi Vinun, Mat Weaving & Boat Building
Maldives one of the most popular tourist attraction is blessed with white sandy beaches, graceful coconut trees, crystal clear lagoons and many more. The people in Maldives are very friendly.
Maldivians are also well known for their skillfulness and creativity in various fields of crafts and arts. Many of the skills have been passed from generation to generation and still exists. Maldivians are skilled craftsmen producing a variety of handicraft products from locally available materials.
The art of calligraphy has strong connection with Islam. Historical monuments like old Friday mosque, Hukuru Miskiy display calligraphy which give evidence to the strong connection between the Maldivian tradition and Islam.
The beautifully carved tombstones in some of the old cemeteries,the old and new mosques with beautiful inscribed versions from Holy Quran tells about the significant skill of Maldivian stone carvers.
While some crafts has become outdated some other bloomed with the development of tourism industry. Some of the popular crafts in Maldives are boat production, Mat weaving, Wooden lacquer ware etc.
Boat building is a craft which has been passed on from generations. Though the tools used in the building of dhoni’s (boats) have changed the basic design hasn’t changed much.
Imported hardwoods are used in the place of coconut wood, which was used in the past to make the hull. Copper rivets are used to hold the planks together instead of coir, which was used even half a century ago.
The square sail made of coconut fronds gave way to a triangular lateen sail. But the boats are still built in the same way without a detailed plan.
Beautiful red mats are woven throughout the country, the most famous among these are the one which woven by the women of Gadhdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. They ranges in size from that of a place mat to a full size single mattress.
Wooden Lacquer Ware, the most distinctive of the Maldivian handicrafts, these are almost exclusively produced in Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll.
These elegant pieces are lacquered in strands of red, black and yellow resin and delicately carved with flowing flowery patterns.