Thursday, March 29, 2007
Vakamamaca - Fijian women in procession
Peceli said, 'Let's go shopping' and I said Okay because we need some food for the weekend. 'You have to buy ten yards of coloured cloth for the vakamamaca tomorrow.'
What? 'For the welcome to the Moderator at the church.' Okay, so we go to Spotlight, which is heaven to many of the women of Geelong, a super, super store for those who love to sew - which is not me at the present. Hundreds and hundreds of rolls of beautiful cloth! Well, I found one bolt of coloured cloth I liked - with a patchwork look about it - and bought six metres - the last of the roll.
Vakamamaca is an old Fijian custom for greeting a visitor which has been adapted and is still maintained today. It's part of the Fijian formal welcoming ceremony. The women in procession carry rolled pandanus mats to present to the main guest and also lengths of cloth. (The same things occurs sometimes in concerts and the dancers are wrapped around with the lengths of cloth.) The reason behind it is based on the arrival of guests by sea and they will probably be wet and need new dry clothing.