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Vashafaru: Shujau’s Palm Leaf Crafts


Abdullah Shujau is a talented artist and craftsman from Ha. Vashafaru. He grew up in a place where he developed a deep love for traditional art made from palm leaves. His grandmother was his inspiration, as she taught him how to create wristwatches and other small items from palm leaves when he was young.

As Abdullah grew older, he became more curious and creative. Today, he can make an impressive variety of objects, such as birds, grasshoppers, flowers, and dhoni models, using not just palm leaves but also pandan leaves and screw-pine leaves. Abdullah takes pride in being able to make at least 50 different designs from these natural materials, showcasing his versatility and skill in this traditional art form.

When asked about his motivation for pursuing this craft, Abdullah shared that he enjoys spending his free time creating these intricate objects for his colleagues at the resort where he works as a Launch Captain. While some people offer to pay for his creations, Abdullah emphasizes that it’s not about the money for him. Instead, it’s about the joy and satisfaction he feels from the process of creating something beautiful and meaningful with his own hands.

A bird made from palm leaves by Shujau at Ha. Vashafaru

Abdullah acknowledges that this craft can be time-consuming and requires patience and attention to detail. However, he finds solace in spending time alone, honing his craft and bringing his imagination to life through these palm leaf creations. He believes that it’s a valuable skill to learn, not only for the artistic expression it offers but also for the mindfulness and appreciation for nature that it fosters.

Reflecting on the broader significance of this traditional art form, Abdullah emphasizes that it’s not just about creating beautiful objects, but also about preserving a part of his heritage and connecting with his cultural roots. He feels proud to carry on the knowledge and skills passed down by his grandparents and hopes to inspire others to appreciate and learn this unique craft.

In conclusion, Abdullah Shujau’s passion for creating art from palm leaves is a testament to his creativity, skill, and cultural heritage. His journey as an artist and craftsman is a testament to the value of traditional arts and crafts, and the joy that can be found in pursuing a meaningful hobby. As he continues to create intricate and beautiful objects from palm leaves, Abdullah serves as an inspiration to others, encouraging them to appreciate the beauty of nature and the significance of preserving traditional art forms for future generations to cherish.

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