The Bakoua is a term for the hat made with the leaves of a plant known also under the name Bakoua. To this day, many people continue to make this type of cap that continues to appeal to both Martinique as a tourist on the island. In town, the Bakoua is decorated with a stylish braided tape and with some finesse. In the fields, it protects from the sun cane cutters and scratches, and offshore, its conical shape ensures better protection against rain and spray. You can then go to the big market in Fort-de-France or that of Savannah Martinique with your rental car
to buy this iconic hat.
Preparation of leaves
To make the Bakoua, people start by picking the leaves of Pandanus used, especially those that tend to yellow. These are then exposed to the sun until they are completely dry. The long dry leaves will be freed from their prickly edges. A scraping method using a knife will then soften them so that they can be cut into very fine strips ready to be braided.
The making of Bakoua hat
The Bakoua hat is crafted from a very sharp technique. People will first work caught between their toes to start and form fairly thick braids. The hat then make its appearance depending on the used braid that can be pierced, 4 or 6 blades, teeth, so millipede. The chosen will then braid hand sewn or machine from the beginning winding and with a superposition of layers in each round made. The making of a hat Bakoua requires an average of twenty meters braids.