Many thanks to people like Epeli and Henry
Thanks for the lovely traditional Bure that now becomes the beginning of the land mark of the Tribewanted in Vorovoro Island. There are a few people I would like to mention their names, firstly Komai Viriviri Epeli Gauna, the traditional builder of the large bure. It is not an easy assignment as the building materials all have to brought in from the mainland.
Epeli is a mataisau. The word matai means expert. He is a skilled carpenter and boatbuilder and right-hand practical man to the Tui Mali. Epeli build some of the boats that are used in Vorovoro and Mali. Epeli lives in Vuo village near the Malau Timber Mill and Vuo is a village of Mali Island people. I met him on Vorovoro Island when I was there in August and we talked then with Epeli and Tui Mali about designing a large bure for the tribewanted people.
Secondly Henry Marshall who is now registered in the chiefly yavusa (tribe)of Ligaulevu. He was a skilled mechanic with the Fiji Sugar Corporation, now just retired, and he lives in Vuinika which is near Vuo. He helps with engines and assists the Tui Mali. He is a matai ni idini (engine). And he has a car to drive the Tui Mali to Labasa town.
Thank you also to the women of Mali, particularly Tui Mali’s wife Ana who is a secondary school teacher. She and the women organised the decorations for the interior of the bure.
It is rare today to see the building of a traditional bure in the Labasa area. I don’t think there are any bures in Naseakula or Wailevu villages. The materials are difficult to obtain because most of the land has been turned into sugar cane farms so the forests are gone.