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raffia

A raffia is a specific type of African palm tree, and raffia is also the name of the versatile fiber that's made from it. You've might have received a gift that was decorated with a raffia bow.

In the world of crafts, raffia is extremely popular. It's a strong, natural fiber that makes an excellent package tie, and it's also used to stake garden plants, weave baskets and placemats, and even for making shoes and hats. In areas of Nigeria, long fronds of raffia are also used as fishing poles. The vast majority of raffia trees are found in Madagascar, and the name comes from the Malagasy rafia.

Definitions of raffia
  1. noun
    leaf fibers of the raffia palm tree; used to make baskets and mats etc.
    synonyms: raphia
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    type of:
    plant fiber, plant fibre
    fiber derived from plants
  2. noun
    fiber of a raffia palm used as light cordage and in making hats and baskets
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    type of:
    fiber, fibre
    a slender and greatly elongated substance capable of being spun into yarn
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