Women display unique mats

Mere Caucaunitabua (wearing blue) showcases a loga vaka Namuka that she weaved at home Picture LUKE RAWALAI

THE women of Nabubu in the district of Namuka, Macuata are well known for their distinctive mat known as the Loga vaka Namuka.

And 78-year-old Dimere Caucaunitabua is one of the few women in the village who still knows how to make the mat. Unlike other mats made around the country, Ms Caucaunitabua said the one from Namuka was different because it was made from a different species of pandanus known as the voivoi tagane.

Ms Caucaunitabua said the pandanus leaves they used were strong and slender unlike the normal pandanus leaves used by other iTaukei villages to weave their mats.

According to Ms Caucaunitabua, the mats which were usually thicker and stronger could last for 30 years and more as the leaves became stronger with age. “I believe that it is the duty of women my age to teach younger women about how the mats are made and the skills so that it is passed down and not lost to our future generation,” she said.

“Here in the village, I make it my duty to teach women in the village, including those who are married here and not originally from Namuka, how to make the mat.

“We have our handicraft show where these mats are displayed and women normally sell them to earn an income.”

Ms Caucaunitabua said women in the village planned to showcase their homemade Liga vaka Namuka mats during their next handicraft show.

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