Reed brooms are popular cleaning tools in many South Asian cultures. In the Philippines, you may see women on the porch with their walis tambos, trying to sweep up the leaves and dirt that blew in from the night before. Have you ever stopped to think about the construction of these brooms? What goes into a traditional walis tambo? We'll use this article to explain just that.
Reed brooms are obviously constructed out of reeds that are native to the Philippines. One of the most popular forms of these reeds is the phragmite, which is a large grass found in wetland areas of the world. Its soft, feather like ends make it the perfect for broom construction, and its availability throughout the Philippines makes it an easy source to gather. You may need see a reed like this in any Fiipino recipes, but it is certainly a part of brooms made in that area.
To some Americans, the idea of a reed broom may seem almost primitive. Why would someone want to use that when she could use a Swiffer, right? Well, there is a reason why reed brooms have been around as long as they have. It is because they work well and they are affordable to make. No matter what your budget may be, you can still afford to keep your home clean with a reed broom on hand.
It takes years to perfect the art of actually making a reed broom, so this may not be a craft project you will want to explore on your own. For the most part, it is the women of a city or village that make the walis tambos, but that does not mean that men do not do this from time to time. If you want to pick up on this craft yourself, you may want to travel to the Philippines to learn from the pros. Otherwise, you can just buy a broom to use in your home for now.
Now that you know what reed brooms are made of, you may have a better respect for the people who construct them. Take a look around at some of the reeds native to your area and think about how you could put them together to make a broom. You'll soon see that it is not as easy of a task as you may have once assumed.