Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Old age art still alive

Fiji Sun - 9 February 2010

Viniana Yauva is among Macuata women who are keeping the age-old art of weaving mats and salusalu (garlands) from kuta alive.

Sitting in front of a shop at Dreketi, in Macuata, Ms Yauva makes use of her free time weaving kuta leaves into garlands.

She does this daily as she waits for customers who come to buy mangoes and bananas from her.

The woman from Raviravi lives with her family in Nadoiviri Settlement, close to the school her children attend.

Helping her husband fend for the family is an additional role Ms Yauva has to carry out to ease the financial burden.

Besides selling crops from their farm, she sometimes prepares food to sell to daily commuters on the Labasa-Dreketi-Nabouwalu highway.

Passengers on buses, trucks and vehicles travelling from Suva to Labasa and vice-versa usually stop over at Dreketi.

She is able to display her art work to interested individuals at the shop.

“I do not sit idle at the shop waiting for customers so I use my time in plaiting salusalu,” she said.

“I learnt the art from a retired civil servant who attended a workshop on kuta weaving last year.”

Her garlands are sold for $40 but times can be hard because there is no market in the area.

The money earned from her daily sales is used for her children’s education.

“Educating my children is important because I want them to have a good future,” the 40-year-old woman said.

Like many rural woman, they seize every opportunity to earn money for help their husbands.

From a farming background, Ms Yauva said hard work was important as the fruits of labour put food on the table.

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