One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A palm tree native to tropical Africa and Madagascar, with a short trunk and leaves which may be up to 18 m (60 feet) long.
Raphia ruffia, family Palmae
- ‘In addition, clothing and mats are popular wares, which are often made from the ubiquitous raffia palm tree.’
- ‘In addition, the raffia palms, of which there are various species in the African tropics and a few in S. America, yield oil.’
- 1.1mass noun The fibre from the leaves of the raffia tree, used for making items such as hats and baskets.as modifier ‘raffia mats’
- ‘Floral artists form perfect nosegays with bundled stems wrapped and tied in raffia ribbons.’
- ‘I slipped on some raffia flip-flops and went down to the gardens.’
- ‘I placed our raffia sleeping mats at the corners of the room, next to our bags and food.’
- ‘There are nine tables covered with blue and white check tablecloths with clean contrasting raffia place mats, with comfortable cane chairs.’
- ‘‘Besides the cans of insecticide, we also spotted a pair of scissors, a razor blade and raffia string,’ said the chief of Police.’
- ‘Oly's interpretation of the traditional oval-armchair appears fresh in a creamy finish with raffia upholstery and nailhead trim.’
- ‘A set of raffia strings connect the skins on either end.’
- ‘A collar made of raffia is tied to the cap and the liana.’
- ‘Walls were covered in raffia to add the sensory appeal of touch and depth.’
- ‘All are dressed in raffia skirts - one wears an additional skirt made of leaves - and four participants wear raffia capes.’
- ‘One strip of raffia about a foot long was slipped through the holes in the front of the parfleche from the inside, pulled even and glued into place.’
- ‘The Dakpogan forge is a land where raffia fibers become bicycle chains and cowry shells become sparkplugs - semantic equivalencies with a cutting edge.’
- ‘Brylee threw the role of raffia into the basket she was pushing, and the two continued walking.’
- ‘You can accent the ornament with twine or raffia bows.’
- ‘Indian paintings adorn the walls, the floors are tiled, and the chairs are heavy wood as are the tables, which are topped with raffia place mats.’
- ‘Stitch the sides of the pouch together using raffia strands.’
- ‘Wrapped in a letter-pressed, raffia cover, all the material is printed as is, with individual handwriting and unique syntactical quirks intact.’
- ‘Traditional crafts have also had a long tradition of importance for items such as pottery, handwoven cloth, carved stools, raffia baskets, and gold jewelry.’
- ‘Using palm fronds braided into long strips that are then sewn together, the island women make hats, baskets, purses, and other items, often decorating them with raffia paper and seashells.’
- ‘Three of us shared that space; half of the cell was taken up by the bed - a raised concrete platform with raffia mats.’
Early 18th century: from Malagasy.
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