What I was told was that pago is resistant to seawater and infact, pago fibers should first be cured in the sea before they are used because they actually become stronger through the process of curing with salt water.
Unfortunately because of time constraints I was unable to adequately cure the pago I cut from the jungle in salt water before hanging it to dry before packing it up to bring back to the Mainland. In fact, the pago was still damp when I packed it and fortuantely it passed through customs and since January has been drying out on my porch.
When we were in Guam, I had the opportunity to view the only surviving Chamorro sling from ancient times known to be in existance.
The curator of the displays at the Governor's complex was very helpful and told us that the sling was believed to be made of coconut fiber. In examining the sling it was obvious to me that the sling was not made of the fiber from the husk and probably not from the palm leaves either. When I asked he said that it was theorized that the fiber came from the trunk of the coconut tree. I plan on testing that theory. In the mean time my personal theory is that the sling is not made of husk fiber and definately not from pandanus. Pandanus seems good for matting and for baskets but for a sling it tears apart too easily. I know this from making a number of slings from pandanus and it is definately not durable enough to hold together for a sling. So, my current theory is pago.
Armed with that theory, I hit the jungles of Yigo and collected pago.
More to come....