Bones provide a way out for two

BONE carving is a totally new skill for members of the Duavata Women’s Club.

But despite this, they have been keen learners and their interest has shown in the bones carved for the Taveuni Co-operative under the banner of the Rotary Club of Taveuni.

The club has also taken the lead role in this new industry by setting up a workshop for bone carving.

Although they started after the villagers in Lavena, who were introduced first to bone carving, the women of Lovonivonu have shown great commitment through the construction of the workshop.

Club president Kelera Tiko said bone carving was not a difficult task.

“We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Taveuni who set up the machines inside the workshop because that has helped us greatly with our bone carving work,” she said.

“With the different machines set up and the other smaller hand tools we use in carving bones, the members of this club and villagers have enjoyed the work.

“Although we are only two members, there are interested villagers who have come to join us.”

Mrs Tiko said bone carving was suitable for the elderly people like her.

“I am 70 years old and this is the kind of work we should do because it’s not hard work at all.

“At least, with this bone carving where we can still earn money, the work does not require time outside in the hot sun.

“We can just sit in our own homes and do the job.

“Even my husband sits by my side to watch me carve the bones and his company is even a source of strength because I get to do four carvings.”

New Zealand carver Hobby Thompson said Mrs Tiko’s effort had just amazed him.

“She is an outstanding woman.

“At her age, she carves so many bones and she comes up with different ideas of bone carving that are just beyond my imagination,” he said.

“If they sell a small piece then they can earn about $30 a piece and that is big money for a two to three hours job.

“It will also be good for the young people to get involved because it is good money and less hard work.”

Mr Thompson will return in June to visit his teams on the island.

“I have asked them to make 25 pieces each by June and that is not far so they have a lot of work to do.”

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