Natural fiber brooms are quite common in Theravadan countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Laos. Since the plants that are used to make brooms grow in our monastery, one of our very senior monks takes pleasure in making brooms when he needs to stretch his legs after a long meditation. It is strange, but since our main job is to meditate, working can be a leisure activity!
There is not much to write here and it is just something to showcase that you might find interesting. First the Sayadaw gets someone to cut the plants for him and then he sets them out to dry. Monks are not allowed to damage or cut the branches themselves. Allowable language would be to ask for plants to make x-amount of brooms and the helper (kappiya) would know where to find them. This is the allowable way. Above, you can see the Sayadaw next to some fairly green broom material. The picture below was taken at later date when they are more dry.
Later, the stems are gathered and tied together.
After that, the bunches are attached to a broom stick.
The final product is picture again below:
The Sayadaw’s main job is meditation and he is always easily found in the hall and one of the most consistent for meditation hall attendance. As a very senior monk, he would not be put on any chore list, but this is his way of contributing to the monastery in his own way. He is always smiling and appears very happy.