Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fine Mats on Parade


Fine Mats on Parade

Drums beating, women shouting, a parade went down the village road. The Women’s Committee were displaying their fine mats. These mats were also shown to Samoa’s Head of State, along with mats from other Savaii villages the prior weekend.

Fine mats are like money. They are usually given as gifts at very special occasions. Each mat requires hundreds of hours of painstaking labor to make. Mat making is a traditional Samoan skill much treasured. There are great attempts to maintain this skill among the younger women.

The Women’s Committee has set a goal for every family in the village to make at least five sleeping mats or be fined. Sleeping mats are of a much lesser quality, but still need to be hand made. As the Christmas deadline approaches families are busy weaving. Like other places, many wait to the last minute.

1 comment:

Teri said...

The fine mats are so large, looks like they must be used for floor coverings. What material is used in the weaving? Is it dried grass? I'm also curious about the lesser quality sleeping mats. Are they placed directly on the floor or on a raised platform? Also, do the younger women tend to resist learning these traditional skills?