Show to highlight traditional arts

The annual showcasing of Ie Samoa, known as the National Faalelega Pepe/Fuataga will be held on May 9 this year.

This was confirmed by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.   

For over 15 years the Ministry has coordinated the Ie Samoa weaving programme. It strives to revive the art of weaving, the use of authentic traditional Ie Samoa (Samoan fine mats), and the production of Siapo – in recognising women’s participation in economic development. 

The programme also focuses on preserving culture, which was in danger of dying out, due to the commercialisation of Samoan culture.

“Each village involved in this project has a master weaver, who makes sure that the mats are up to the standard that the Government has set. 

“The mats are priced between $3500-$5000 which enables these families to uplift themselves, and through their collective industry, contribute to keep this fine tradition alive.   

“On average, it takes about seven months to complete a fine mat (Ie Samoa), which is used for traditional exchanges and gift giving as part of important ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and bestowment of chiefly titles.”

The Ministry also stated that when they first started the project, most of the women involved were older, but recently there has been an increase in women under 30-years participating and many who are unable to find a jobs.  

“There were signs of great commitment from the younger generation and some men, to keep this fine tradition alive.

“The highlight was one of the youngest weavers of the age of 11 from Nofoalii was seen weaving an Ie Samoa.”

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