Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weaving kuta

from w
It's interesting that a man from Macuata has joined the women's craft of weaving kuta. Congratulations to Mataiasi Qaronu from Nurua village in Macuata.  Also go to an article in the Fiji Sun about this man. http://fijisun.com.fj/2015/10/16/qaroro-tops-womens-fashion-awards/

Exception to the rule

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Friday, October 16, 2015
THE National Women's Expo 2015 was meant for women participants only when it opened on Wednesday.
But Mataiasi Qaroru is the lone exception to this rule, all thanks to his talent which has gained him a spot in this year's event.
Originally from Niurua Village in Macuata, Mr Qaroru, who is known to weave the finest kuta (eleocharis dulcis), is today passing this knowledge to women from his province.
Mr Qaroru, 48, said his weaving was now a source of livelihood for him and his wife and allowed them to expand their micro enterprise to pig farming.
"Today, we also have a small canteen in the village, so my skills have today become a breadwinner to my family," Mr Qaroru said.
Harvesting kuta from the lakes where it grows is a tough task; it takes him about three hours to walk to the lake and back with his load. Work involved in getting a fine kuta product is not easy either.
Explaining the process, Mr Qaroru said after harvesting the kuta reeds, they were tied in bundles and carried vertically.
"Kuta grows in lakes but after harvesting we cannot allow water to touch it again. If we carry them horizontally, they would break thus the need to carry them vertically."
Four days and four nights the kuta would be wrapped so not to allow any breeze to touch them and after this they would be left to dry in the sun to give the reeds their golden brown colour before the fine ones were separated from the wide ones.
"But kuta is not harvested all year round, we only do it in April and that would be after we take some to the chief in the village as it's customary to give the chief the first harvest."
Mr Qaroru not only weaves mats from kuta, he also creates wedding gowns, wall hangings and cushion ring holders for weddings. And he is grateful for this traditional knowledge.
"I was brought up by my father's sister as she had no children and she was the one who taught me all this. I was only in Form Four at Nabala Junior Secondary when I learnt how to make kuta mats but my mum has always told me that it was a chiefly thing to do in her village of Korovuli, Sasa in Macuata."
Mr Qaroru said this knowledge had taken him places over the years. He is one of the 43 participants at the women's expo to receive a Fijian crafted licence.

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