NATION

Weaving Of Sovatabua Fan Revived

The art of producing a traditional relic feared to be lost among the people of Natewa has been revived. The ‘Iri ni Natewa’ which is a unique artefact that is
05 Dec 2016 11:23
Weaving Of Sovatabua Fan Revived
The women of Natewa with the 'Iiri ni Natewa'. Photo: JOSAIA RALAGO

The art of producing a traditional relic feared to be lost among the people of Natewa has been revived.

The ‘Iri ni Natewa’ which is a unique artefact that is an identifying semblance of the people of Natewa in Cakaudrove had been on the verge of being lost forever.

And in an attempt to ensure that the production was restored, 26 people in the seven villages of the Natewa district were trained on how to weave this piece of art last week.

In an interview with one of the trainers, Maikeli Sovasova said the participants were now fully-equipped with the knowledge on how to make the “Iri ni Natewa” or otherwise known as the Sovatabua fan.

“An aunt of mine had taught me this art some 31 years ago and even at that time we were only one of the very few that knew how to make this fan,” Mr Sovasova.

He said prior to the training only two people in the district knew how to weave the Sovatabua fan, his aunt and himself.

The fan which is made from a pair of tender coconut leaves has also been a source of income for Mr Sovasova over the years.

“While the art is supposed to be taught to Natewa natives only, this training included women who are married into the district,” the 50-year-old said.

“However, laws will soon be made to ban the production of the ‘iri-ni-natewa’ in any other part of the country as we have been promised by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.”

Ms Vuniwaqa is also calling on members of the public especially women who were skilled in this way to educate and share their knowledge with other women who could carry on the legacy.

“We must adopt this responsible attitude so that we keep our heritage and culture alive and well,” she said.

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