Raqoli: Craft show an opportunity to share ideas

PARTICIPATING in events such as the Western Women’s Craft Show is not just about making sales, says Vani Raqoli.

The potter from Lawai Village, Nadroga, said it was also an opportunity to share ideas with women from other parts of the country and to encourage the younger generation to learn skills that were fast disappearing in iTaukei communities.

“I’m originally from Nawaka, Nadi, but ever since I married into Lawai, I began taking up pottery — something that the Lawai women are known for. It has changed my life,” the 36-year-old said.

“I am a member of the Lawai Women’s Group and every piece we make is created by hand. There are no machines involved.

“And this is something I want to encourage young women in villages to do.

“We may not have factories and other businesses for employment but we have these skills which we can use to earn a good living and also keep our tradition and culture alive in the future.”

She said their artwork was sold at Lawai Village through guided tours organised by hotels in the Nadroga area.

Ms Raqoli was among dozens of local artisans who participated in the craft show last Thursday and Friday at Shirley Park, Lautoka.

Speaking at the event, Lautoka City Council CEO Jone Nakauvadra said events such as the Western Women’s Craft Show were important because it prepared participants for major events such as the National Women’s Expo.

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