Handicrafts made from banana plant fiber is not an ancient gomeran tradition. It began quite recently (as ancient goes), 40 years ago. It was a new technique that a local teacher (Maruca Gámez, our founder) introduced copying similar techniques present in Andalucía at the time but with ropes instead of bananas.
Making baskets and figures with banana was a way of putting to good use the refuse of banana plantations, who would toss away old plants. Her students, unemployed local women of Vallehermoso village, soon mastered the techniques and produced new designs to sell to tourists.
Of course, the fiber of the banana plants has to be first collected, layer by layer, and with care as not to tear it, and then dried for several weeks. Afterwards, the dried fibers are worked with to recover some flexibility and later woven into baskets or shaped into dolls. Those techniques, time-consuming and difficult to master, are know by very few local women, and bound to dissappear someday. Each of their products is unique.