Welcome to Soatanana
Wild silk has been woven in Madagascar for centuries. Cocoons are harvested in the wild (there is no sericulture of Borocera Madagascariensis), then prepared in artisanal workshops – they need to be boiled for several days before drying. The fibre then needs to be threaded, dyed and woven.
The village of Soatanana is famed for its silk weaving, and you can come and visit the artisans (mostly women) at work. Cocoons are bought from villagers who live near the tapia forests; they are then prepared and woven into scarves here.
Most women work on their loom at home so the visits are an intimate experience. You can of course buy scarves here: prices are low (Ar15,000 to Ar70,000 depending on the size) and the choice is bewildering. Some scarves are made exclusively of wild silk; others use a mix of wild and farmed silk (Bombyx Mori).
Simple accommodation (rooms Ar12,000) is available if you would like to spend the night in the village. Meals cost Ar8000.
The village of Soatanana is located about 40km southwest of Ambositra: 13km south on the RN7, then 15km west on the RN35 to the village of Anjoman' Akona, before taking a dirt road for the last 10km. The trip from Ambositra takes about 1¼ hours; if you don't have your own vehicle, you could charter a taxi, or contact GGAM or ORTAM in Ambositra.