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10 April 2021
Wednesday 7 April 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands
Some of the Tongareva Women Handicrafts Group members Sakirere Tonitara (left), Abba Arikisau Isaaka, Masilina Turama and Metuakore Marsters. SUPPLIED/21040610.
The women on the island are excited their handicrafts
are now displayed online and are motivated to create more products to sell to
earn an income.
The island’s Executive Officer (EO) Puna Vano
says he created a Facebook page “Tongareva Women Handicrafts” to assist the
women to earn extra income for their families.
“We are trying to find ways for how people can
earn money here, not just those in government, but everyone,” said Vano.
“If people are given the opportunity to earn
on their own islands using natural products, they’ll stay.
“We do not charge commission; we sell the
crafts directly from here and will package and freight it to Rarotonga - the
buyer just has to pay for the freight charges.”
Over 20 women are now involved in weaving.
They are pleased to have someone to organise the transportation and payments of
the crafts to Rarotonga.
“Customers also need to realise how much work
goes into the creation of one hat, it takes rito (new inner leaves of the
coconut trees) from six coconut trees to make one hat,” Vano said.
“Weaving is the easy part, it’s the
preparation of the rito that’s difficult and time consuming.
“We want to promote their handiwork. Later we
will also have a fishing project for the men to help them earn an extra income
Hats, visor hats, ear rings, necklaces and
fans in bold and bright colours are available.
Rito weaving is a unique art commonly
practiced on the northern group islands of Tongareva, Manihiki and Rakahanga.
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