Lessons at the Museum

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By Mathias Huckert, 07 August 2016

Students took a journey to the past at the Museum of Samoa on Friday.

During a two-hour long session; the facility invited more than twenty students from Apia Primary School as well as future volunteers for the museum to learn everything about the building of a traditional va’a and the language of voyaging. 

The event will not be the only of its kind, Principal Museum Officer, Lumepa Apelu told the Sunday Samoan.

“This is the beginning of a series of museum talks, which are aiming at equipping volunteers for our museum. The volunteers will then be able to help us organising educational workshops for the students,” Ms. Apelu explained.

The themes for this year’s workshops will be based around the subject of the environment. But already, there was much to learn for the young visitors at the museum.

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Mataafa Elia Autagavaia, Cultural Language Specialist at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and Liufau Pelenato, Principal of E.F.K.S. School of Fine Arts shared their knowledge about several traditional aspects that have been a part of Samoan culture for ages.

“The language of voyaging deals with the different types of waves in the sea, with the current and also with the boats that have been used by Samoans in the past, like the va’a,” said Mataafa.

For him, the aspect of preserving this important part of the Samoan tradition is something valuable that has to be shared with the younger generations of the country: “The students are here to get a better understanding of the language of voyaging and how it has been used in the past. 

Nowadays, we have boats with motors or other, more modern ways of transportation, but it is important to remember how it was done in the old days, when all these techniques did not yet exist”.

The message of remembering the past as something precious that defines one’s own culture was also what the students were able to take home at the end of the day.

“Usually, as students we do not really learn much about this part of our own history.  But luckily, we got the opportunity to learn more about it here at the museum”, Josephine Ainu’u stated. 

Together with her classmate Pearl Perelini, she had followed the museum talk with great interest. 

“I think it is good to learn more about our own traditions here, so we can remember how life was in those days,” she said. 

MH
By Mathias Huckert, 07 August 2016

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