For the best part of a decade, Boromeu do Rosario Pereira from Margao has been carving a niche from himself by creating splendid designs from empty coconut shells. One of his most famous pieces includes a spectacular handmade lampshade, while his coconut earrings and cups are also very popular. So just how long do these works of art take to be crafted?
“It all depends on what item I am working on. The lamp shade took the longest. It took me six days to work on it. But coconut cups are much easier and take just about 30 minutes. Each time I work on a new design. Only a few times have I repeated the same items. I have lost count of how many items I have created. Lots and lots,” explained Boromeo.
Finding his calling
Boromeu has been a dedicated Physical Education teacher for nearly 40 years at the Holy Spirit Institute in Margao, where he has trained many champions. Now he has become a champion in his own right by promoting the sacred Goan coconut.
While working as a PE teacher, the Headmaster of the School requested Boromeu to conduct a work experience subject. The theme Boromeu chose to pursue was ‘Wealth out of waste’. This is where the journey began after inspiring his wards to create products made out of leftover coconut shells
“ Each time I work on a new design. Only a few times have I repeated the same items. I have lost count of how many items I have created. Lots and lots. Whatever comes to my mind inspires me to create art. Many people have appreciated my work,” stated Boromeu.
Boromeu can be seen at many exhibitions around the beautiful state displaying his designs, which are snapped up by customers. But before the selling can start, a long process has to be completed which includes collecting coconuts from his home and trimming them with a unique cutting machine. As demand has increased, Boromeu has also sourced old coconut shells from locals.
“It is easy to get coconuts. The raw material for my artwork is easily available. I taught this to my students in their work experience classes. Besides, the waterless coconuts are not taken by people. I ensure these shells are not wasted,” enlightened Boromeu.
Boromeo has put his new found skill along with his love of teaching to good use by conducting classes for the youth inside and outside the state. He has also conducted workshops for the staff at Sada Jail, which is highly commendable.