Sunday, March 24, 2013

A plethora of palms

As a child I always loved getting a palm cross at Easter and I try to make sure I'm in prison on Palm Sunday as they're given out there too. I've gathered quite a little collection over the years but this year I thought I'd buy some for Zac's. I'm leading the study on Tuesday and we're going to be taking a look at Easter and I always - or usually - find visual aids helpful.

These particular ones were made by villagers in Masasi, one of the poorest areas of Southern Tanzania. From the website 

 Poor in everything except spirit and African dwarf palm plants, the entire population of Masasi village find a role in hand-weaving Easter palm crosses from single strands of natural palm leaf.

Sourced entirely from a village in one exceptionally poor area of Southern Tanzania,’s African palm crosses are woven in one piece by the men, women and children of the Masasi village. Harvested from locally grown and nurtured dwarf African palms, hand-woven crosses give the villagers a life-line income.

Weaving the strips of locally grown palm fronds into perfectly formed palm crosses, the villagers turned an ancient handicraft into a self-help opportunity to invest in the future health and education of their village. Through their distribution network ‘African Palms’, the proceeds from Masasi palm crosses are re-invested to meet basic needs and services that the developed world takes for granted. 

Proceeds from African Palm Crosses are invested in children’s eye clinics, improved seed stocks, HIV Awareness, water resources and environmental conservation. Through these programmes, funded in part by African palm crosses, the health and wellbeing of children & adults is a substantially improved. With the income and education from African palm crosses, villagers have the resources and knowledge to invest in their children’s future and in protecting their environment.


katney said...

Way cool!

But it looks like you have a spammer again.

NitWit1 said...

I find the history of palm crosses exceedingly interesting. What a resourceful people and sharing in the monetary return incredible.

Sometimes I think capitalism promotes selfishness and lack of empathy.

Liz said...

I'm beginning to think I'll have to have a word verifier, katney.

it certainly can do, nitwit.

Rose said...

I've never seen palm crosses like these before--beautiful! Our church's tradition is to give palm fronds to the little kids who join the pastor in a procession through the sanctuary. I noticed yesterday, though, that they took the palms back from the kids before they sat down--probably a smart idea:)

Liz said...

Mm, palm fronds have sharp edges too, rose!