Gathaa fai and boa

Gathaa fai and boa is the special set of equipment used to make the kasabu boavalhu, that embellishes the neckline of the traditional Maldivian dress. The equipment consists of two parts, gathaa fai which is the base structure, and the gathaafaige boa which is the round cushion that sits on the stand, used to pin the threads. The stand is made from wood in the shape of a short vase. The five inch long foalibai seen hanging around the cushion, function as the weights that hold the threads and is made from sturdy wood or fishbone, as heavy weights are preferred. Up to 34 of these can be used at one time.

There are three types of ribbon—hiru, bagiyaa and rodhigandu. Rodhigandu is the most elaborate of the three. Once the ribbons are prepared, they are hand stitched onto the neckline. The neckline has to be at least four inches wide and the ribbons have to be placed in a specific order.