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ITaukei heritage vulnerable

Luke Rawalai
Monday, December 09, 2013

THE iTaukei art and cultural heritage are vulnerable to theft and piracy as there is no law to safeguard them from such threats.

Ministry of iTaukei permanent secretary Savenaca Kaunisela said they were in the process of developing laws to protect the iTaukei cultural heritage and art forms.

Mr Kaunisela said the ministry was trying to get all art forms and other traditional information that needed to be legally secured.

"The iTaukei people know of their own customary art forms for instance their weaving patterns and tapa motifs or designs," he said.

"We are concerned with the protection of these traditional knowledge so that people do not steal them for their own gain. All these can only be protected if we have a law to safeguard the usage of these precious properties that belong to the iTaukei people alone."

Mr Kaunisela said if this was not done people could claim traditional knowledge.

Soqsoqo Vakamarama national president Adi Finau Tabakaucoro said they were really concerned about the protection of art forms.

"Our concern is on the fact that the iTaukei intellectual properties are being stolen and used for monetary gains," she said.

"These art forms belong to the iTaukei people and they have every right to lay claim on the proceeds of these art forms."


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