Apropos of patterns, I want to show you the ultimate in biodegradable recycling – palmyra fences and kadjan modesty screens.
From the rather scraggly dead branches of the bristly palmyra palm
come fences of character and finess that are so characteristic of northern Sri Lanka that even I – who had only seen them once before (on a trip to Batticaloa during a lull in the war some years ago) felt an immediate pang of nostalgia when we first sighted one on our recent trip to Jaffna.
Shaggy, or clipped with military precision, a palmyra fence is a perfect marriage of form and functionality, beautiful in its simplicity and recurring, fan-like patterns.
Weathered and battered by sun and storm – humus in the making
the branch uprights eventually become ridged tapers – like a collection of tribal spears