By Io Aleke-Fa'avae - email@example.com
A group of Tuvaluan women are keeping the art of weaving alive with an exhibition showcasing different types of traditional mats.
Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa preparing to showcase their work for Tuvalu Language Week. Photo/ Supplied.
Around 40 women based in West Auckland from Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa are the creators of the exhibition.
Since August, the group has been working tirelessly on three types of traditional Tuvaluan mats to be showcased next week as part of Tuvalu Language Week.
Chairperson Tapania Taiki travelled to Tuvalu to retrieve the required pandanus leaves needed for the project.
"Three types of mats that will be showcased are the lopa (decorative), papa (plain) and kete (baby mats)," she says.
"The mats are used for sleeping purposes but we also use it for special occasions like weddings, birthdays and presents."
Taiki says despite having to put together the project for Tuvalu Language Week, the heart of the group is to preserve cultural traditions and practices.
"What's really at the back of our mind is just to keep on with our culture and traditions, what we know we shouldn't lose."
The exhibition To Weave Again will be launched tomorrow at Ponsonby's Objectspace.
Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa will also be running a free workshop next week demonstrating the art of weaving.
Tuvalu Language Week begins on September 30 and ends on October 6.