Local Arts & Crafts
The recycling of objects to turn them into art is embedded in the Mauritian culture. It is an old tradition embodied by beautiful local hands who work on ceramic, bamboo, textile and coconut to produce unique souvenirs.
Added to them now are modern artisans recovering wood pallets and driftwood from the beach to produce home deco and natural souvenirs. During your trip, find an array of heart-made, little objects when staying at Vanilla House Guest House or visiting the Ebony Forest Reserve.
Mauritius is one of the few countries that still elaborates agricultural rum, sourced from the distillation of fresh, fermented sugar cane (commercial rum comes from the distillation of molasses). Its specific aroma and flavor make it very appreciated as a high-quality rum, although Mauritius’ distinctive creation is the artisanal maceration made with fruits and spices of the island such as vanilla, coffee, orange peel and nutmeg.
Cuisine lovers will find pretty interesting the array of fruit and vegetable pickles macerated in saffron, oil and chili, ready to bring to life the simplest dishes and to share the taste of Mauritius with your loved ones back home.
The ravanne is a round tambourine that varies in sizes according to the pitch desired. Hand-crafted with animal skin, it is warmed-up over fire to loosen it up before playing. The beats then set the rhythm for the other musicians and the dancers who jiggle and twirl around the bonfire.
Not so long ago, this represented the only way of entertainment for African slaves, who, after a whole day of work in the sugarcane plantations would gather at night to dance at the beach. Sega is the music of oppression and party, the purest expression of Mauritius people.
Basketwork is a tradition that has passed from mother to child the artistry on how to braid “tente” from leaves of vacoas, sugarcane leaves, bamboo or aloe. The leaves are firstly cut into stripes and then set to dry under the sun. They are then softened with a knife so they can be easily knitted as the base for the popular beach bags, hats, mats and lamp heads.
Ship modeling, a more recent tradition, has since its appearance in the island (1968) been a source of pride for Mauritian artisans. The detailed ship replicas are based on original plans and brought to scale, where they are a 100% hand-made. In the several workshops around the island you will be able to appreciate the craftsmanship from closer and even request a custom ship model for yourself.