17 participate in drua sailing practical class

Children enjoy their school break on the drua ‘I Vola Sigavou’ at Draunibota Bay in Lami yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Drua Experience organised its drua sailing practical class for 17 participants who revived and relived ancient knowledge in Lami yesterday.

George Sokosoko, one of the four instructors, said the team had been given a grant that would cater for 200 trainees.

“Today (yesterday) we are just taking out the kids for a small drua experience, to see where they can apply the knowledge we’ve taught them and the parts of the drua,” he said.

He added the lessons were provided free of charge and that about 170 interested youths had already gone through the weekly program that started earlier in October.

“I think the importance of learning how to sail on drua is dying out and I think it’s important for the younger generation to keep the skills, traditions and customs alive.”

Savita Romanu, an eager 16-year-old participant, said the training was incredibly useful as the drua is part of our culture and that local youths needed to learn more about tradition.

The Levuka Town resident added she had joined because she loved the ocean and sailing, and that she enjoyed learning about olden-day life.

Another participant, 14-year-old Tui Gough, said he had always wanted to sail the drua and see how it worked.

The drua model (named the I Vola Siga Vou) being used is a replica of the Ratu Finau, the only full double-hulled sailing canoe artefact in existence.

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