Mother's Day Showcase to feature fine mats and siapo

The annual showcasing of the Samoan fine mats and siapo (traditional Samoan tapa cloth) will be held at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) youth hall at Mulinuu this Thursday.

The C.E.O. of the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development's (M.W.C.S.D.), Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo, advised of the event during an interview with Samoa Observer an in anticipation of the early celebration of Mothers Day.

She said the theme for this year’s event is “Developing and Sustaining the Economic Empowerment of Women through the Labour of their Hands".

“The significance of this initiative is to recognise and promote Samoa's culture through the production of its fine mats and Siapo as a source of hope for the low income families of Samoa, and also increased the number of high quality fine mats and Siapo produced," she said.

According to the C.E.O., the programme has improved income earning opportunities for vulnerable families and is leading to sustainable community economic development.

“This year will be 16th time that the Government of Samoa celebrated the contribution of women in developing social and economic well-being of families and communities, through the display and exhibition of Samoan fine mats and Siapo, which are beautifully hand-woven and printed by women from Upolu, Apolima and Savaii.

“The initiative serves to not only revive the weaving of the traditional Samoan fine mats but also encourage the Falelalaga (weaving headquarters) and Komiti a Tina (women’s committee) to produce and sustain this traditional practice," she added.

The showcase will coincide with the market day which will be held at the Malaefatu Park in Sogi starting Wednesday and will continue to Thursday. It will women and youth, especially those who were supported through the Ministry's small grant scheme to bring their products like handicrafts and agricultural produce for display and to sell. 

Afamasaga said the Ministry is providing tents, chairs, and tables to help the participants market their products and hopefully earn some income.

“We are expecting over a 100 people but they have not confirmed yet but we have contacted them all," she added. 

There will be prizes for weavers who have completed the Samoan fine mats No.1 and No.2 and those who produced up to 10 siapo. There will also be special prizes for the best weavers, and the best produced Samoan fine mats.

The International Labor Organisation (I.L.O.) in partnership with the M.W.C.S.D. also donated two special awards for the youngest weavers who are able to produce Samoan fine mat No.1.

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