Old uncle is the last of the few craftsmen left in this ‘sunset industry’. None of his children are keen to follow his footsteps and it is left to be seen whether his craftsmanship will survive into the next generation.
Uncle told me that the supplies of cane is shrinking due to rabid urbanization that resulted in the deterioration of the environment affecting the ‘virgin jungle’…where most of the canes are harvested by the aborigines and sold at an exorbitant price to the cane industry.
Gone are the days…where cane harvested by the aborigines were exchange for basic necessity like salt….sugar…rice …cooking oil and the likes….thus hiking up the prices of the cane products beyond the reach of the segment of market (the ordinary village folks) traditionally its staunchest supporters…..but for the better…the cane furniture are re-classified as ‘up-market’…adorning lobbies of Hotels and Clubs.
Though the industry is experiencing a resurgence of interest and demand…..it is left to be seen whether it will survive the environmental impact of modernization on the supply of canes and or the business acumen and shrewdness of the aborigines.
Will uncle be the ‘Last Joe’…..