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Ma’ana Treasures the Art of Weaving

Ma’ana Treasures  the Art of Weaving
The art of weaving has passed down to Ma’ana Vamarasi from her mother.
July 06
21:53 2017

Meet Ma’ana Vamarasi. She was taught by her mother to weave at the age of 12.

Ms Vamarasi was born and brought up in Rotuma. She fondly recalls how young girls of her village were taught to sew and weave from a very young age with close supervision from older ladies in their families.

Young girls had to adhere to a set of strict traditions which were a norm in their cultures.

At the age of 16, she says she started to sew her own clothes and began to develop those skills to a better standard.

She settled down in 1989, but decided to venture out into more businesses aside from sewing. Her family left Rotuma in 1993 to settle in Fiji for better opportunities.

Ms Vamarasi says she continued to sew as an occupation when the family settled in Suva. At the same time she kept her traditional craft as something to bless her family with.

“Weaving was something treasured in my heart and as time passed; people began to admire my work,” she said.

“This had given me the enthusiasm and the courage to focus on my weaving and rejuvenate those skills to pursue my dreams.

“I had that desire to become a better and perfect weaver and having that greatest satisfaction for the tremendous response from those interested buyers.”

 

Member of the Fiji Arts Council

She joined the Fiji Arts Council in 2000 and began to participate in various craft competitions organised annually by the Council in the various divisions.

Attending workshops, participating in regional festivals and craft seminars gave her opportunities to be more recognised in the uniqueness and the creativity of her outstanding work.

Her works ranged from all types of baskets of different shapes and sizes, purses, fans, and mats.

Ms Vamarasi won many prizes from 2003 to 2008 through competitions organised by the Fiji Arts Council.

She was awarded the Contemporary Crafts Person of the Year in 2008. This award has given her a sense of pride, being a representative of Rotuman arts.

In using local traditional materials, she has also ventured out to contemporary art, adapting her crafts that showcase appreciation and satisfaction of her creativities to meet national, regional and international standards.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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