Breadfruit Bark Cloth

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Bark cloth is used for a number of purposes, however, the H.I.T. team was taught its use in the making of women's basket, called ruai. In the process of making the ruai, the cloth is used as a covering for the woven portion of the basket, the handle, as well as the thread used to sew it. When used as thread, small strips of the bark are rolled to make them more like a rope or string. The branch is taken into the ocean when the bark is being removed because the salt water helps to soften the inner bark of the tree and helps preserve the cloth. The section of the breadfruit must be cut from a young tree that has a great deal of white still on the bark. The color of the outer bark determines what color the cloth will be once it has dried.