Bone carving initiative

Hobby Thompson with his team members at the carving centre. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

BONE carving is becoming a popular trade in Lavena Village, Taveuni.

After the opening of the carving centre three weeks ago, the villagers have earned between $3000 and $4000 from selling pieces of carved bones that are attached to necklaces.

Led and trained by renowned New Zealand carver, Hobby Thompson, the group designs their carvings to reflect the Fijian culture.

“This is a Fijian made and local product and we design and carve the bones here in the village,” he said.

“We use cow bones and we buy from Suva, while some are bought from New Zealand. “We have involved the young boys as well so they can be empowered economically.”

Mr Thompson, who invested in the project with the Rotary Club of Taveuni, believes stakeholders should support their products because it is locally made.

“It’s Fiji-made and these villagers have been blessed to get tourists to their end of the island to buy their products,” he said.

“The solar power system and the structure, all built by the Rotary Club volunteers have started this project well.

“We started in 2016, but TC Winston delayed our work, however, we were not sidetracked by this as we remained positive.”