Definition of raffia in English:

raffia

noun

  • 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, the raffia palms, of which there are various species in the African tropics and a few in S. America, yield oil.’
    • ‘In addition, clothing and mats are popular wares, which are often made from the ubiquitous raffia palm tree.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘Stitch the sides of the pouch together using raffia strands.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Brylee threw the role of raffia into the basket she was pushing, and the two continued walking.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Dakpogan forge is a land where raffia fibers become bicycle chains and cowry shells become sparkplugs - semantic equivalencies with a cutting edge.’
      • ‘‘Besides the cans of insecticide, we also spotted a pair of scissors, a razor blade and raffia string,’ said the chief of Police.’
      • ‘There are nine tables covered with blue and white check tablecloths with clean contrasting raffia place mats, with comfortable cane chairs.’
      • ‘I placed our raffia sleeping mats at the corners of the room, next to our bags and food.’
      • ‘I slipped on some raffia flip-flops and went down to the gardens.’
      • ‘Three of us shared that space; half of the cell was taken up by the bed - a raised concrete platform with raffia mats.’
      • ‘Wrapped in a letter-pressed, raffia cover, all the material is printed as is, with individual handwriting and unique syntactical quirks intact.’
      • ‘Walls were covered in raffia to add the sensory appeal of touch and depth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can accent the ornament with twine or raffia bows.’
      • ‘Floral artists form perfect nosegays with bundled stems wrapped and tied in raffia ribbons.’
      • ‘A collar made of raffia is tied to the cap and the liana.’
      • ‘All are dressed in raffia skirts - one wears an additional skirt made of leaves - and four participants wear raffia capes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Traditional crafts have also had a long tradition of importance for items such as pottery, handwoven cloth, carved stools, raffia baskets, and gold jewelry.’

Origin

Early 18th century: from Malagasy.

Pronunciation

raffia

/ˈrafɪə/