We had the privilege of having a really skilled artisan in our home. Roopchand has been in Goa for the past 15 years or so, and picked up the cane-weaving art here.
In case you’re wondering what I’m on about, cane-weaving refers to the cane-work on the seats and backs of chairs and other furniture, quite common here in Goa.
The cane itself comes from Burma (or Myanmar to use its proper name).
Roopchand and his colleague Phoolchand turn up for work with reams of the cane in their bag. They prefer to sit out as they work. It’s slow painstaking work. They finish one large armchair after a whole day’s work.
They’ll be back in a few days to work on a few smaller chairs. They are heavily in demand, all over the state, in a multitude of places, from humble homes like ours to fancy hotel chains. But as old furniture gets replaced by a more modern, “sensible” generation, the demand will inevitably dwindle
They are the last link in the chain of artisans in this genre. They haven’t trained their kids to follow suit.