Traditional Skills Mentorships provide students with strong sense of place, purpose and belonging as they preserve distinctive cultural forms and practices.
There are strong efforts within Micronesia to sustain and expand the production of the world-famous Carolinian Canoes, or Proas. Since the mid 2010s, Habele has been equipping master craftsmen with the tools needed to do that. Island carvers often lack blades that neatly match the specifics of their unique traditional tools and techniques, most notably the hafted adze. Attempts to locally improvise blades –such as mounting chisels and grinding down truck springs– require sacrifices to quality, safety, and traditional techniques.
Habele provides craftsmen with appropriate adze blades that precisely meet the unique needs of Carolinian canoe carvers, and the specifics of their traditional tool design and usage. Habele has also provided canoe carvers and culture teachers with a wide range of other high-quality craftsman-grade tools to sustain traditional wood- working practices.
Skills of weaving are transmitted orally, through observation, and guided practice between women of Island families. The specifics are highly tactile and the learning intrinsically experiential. WeavingConnections.org provides details about the parts of the loom used to weave lavalavas. It offers instructions for Outer Islanders in the US to make looms from easily obtainable materials and connects weavers within Micronesia to their peers abroad.
If you’d like to support traditional skills mentorships in Micronesia, please consider donating.