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Importance Of Traditional Art Highlighted At Open Day

It is important to engage our children in learning our traditional art, says 68-year-old potter Amelia Lesumai. Ms Lesumai said this while exhibiting her pottery art at the Fiji Museum
31 Jul 2016 07:12
Importance Of Traditional Art Highlighted At Open Day

It is important to engage our children in learning our traditional art, says 68-year-old potter Amelia Lesumai.

Ms Lesumai said this while exhibiting her pottery art at the Fiji Museum Open Day in Suva yesterday.

“Nowadays we see that most children are not taught traditional art passed down from our forefathers,” she said.

“We must encourage more people, especially children to learn our traditional art as it can be also a source of income.”

Ms Lesumai, originally from Drekena, Rewa, said she was first taught the art of pottery by her aunt.

“I have also taught my children, grandchildren pottery,” she said.

Ms Lesumai also demonstrated the art of pottery to some students of Namalata District School in Tailevu who also attended the open day.

“These students from Tailevu are very much interested in pottery and they get to take their samples back with them,” she said.

Ms Lesumasaid she used a special type of soil extracted from the banks of Rewa River which is cleaned and stored for later use.

Traditional masi designer Igatolo Tokase, originally from Moce Island in Lau, also shares similar sentiments.

She said their island was well-known for masi making and its unique designs.

“It has been our source of income.  We earn our living out of it. It has helped us send our children to school and daily expenses,” Ms Tokase said.

The 56-year-old was a part of the Fijian delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam earlier in May where she displayed some of her masi designs.

“Doing this type of handicraft has also taken me places like overseas and I never dreamt of travelling on an aeroplane.

“While we are doing this, we are also passing this down to the next generation and that is very important,” she said.

The open day was organised by the Fiji Museum in collaboration with the Department of Heritage and Arts, the Fiji Arts Council, National Trust of Fiji and the National Archives of Fiji focusing on heritage, culture andarts, connecting Fiji to its past, present and future.



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