Lifestyle

Weaving Supports Sera’s Family

Originally from Lekutulevu Vaturova in Cakaudrove, the 62-year-old weaves baskets, fans and sells them along with her daughters’ products at the Labasa Market.
12 Jun 2019 12:25
Weaving Supports Sera’s Family
Sera Sekelala 62 (third from left) with her three daughters, Vani Vunilagi, Nemai Samanono and Luisa Vakavou of Lekutulevu Village, Vaturova, Cakaudrove, with some of the items they are putting on sale for 2019 Fiji National Women’s Expo on June 11, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

For the Sekelala family, weaving is a skill that has been passed on through the generations.

It is one that has helped sustain their family during the most challenging of times.

Sera Sekelala said she learned the craft from her parents and she passed it on to her three daughters, all of whom are participating at the National Women’s Expo this year at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva.

She is one of 500 women exhibitors and entrepreneurs showcasing their handicraft and creativity at the three-day event, which officially begins today.

Originally from Lekutulevu Vaturova in Cakaudrove, the 62-year-old weaves baskets, fans and sells them along with her daughters’ products at the Labasa Market.

“The expo is a good opportunity for us because we get to showcase our products and it fetches good sales,” Ms Sekelala said.

“I thank the ministry for creating this platform to help women, especially us women living in the villages.

“We come here, make new friends and learn so much about improving our businesses.”

Ms Sekelala has relied on her weaving skills to put her children through school and support her family for many years.

“Before we had to pay school fees and bus fare to send our children to school so this what I did to help my family,” she said.

The baskets are woven at home and the women use creative methods to make the baskets appealing, such as using mangrove stems to add a dark brown colour and mahogany stems to add a lighter shade of brown.

“We want to keep the costs low and such practices also help to preserve our traditional methods,” Ms Sekelala said.

Edited by Percy Kean

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