06 October, 2006
A Rewan lady keeps art alive
A mat called the "sere na daligana" unique to the people of Vutia, Rewa Province, is on display at the Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival Village. While the mat is similar to the "i coco" or large Fijian mat, the four corners have finely women designs. The mat is called the "sere na daligana" because the four corners were unwoven and the individual strand of voivoi (dried pandanus leaves) were then split into thin strips before the designs are woven. With the mat on display at the Village, the four corners had different designs on each of them. For other similar mats, it would be normal to have the same design for each of the four corners. The "somo" or dyed pandanus leaves features a lot in the final weavings of the mat. In addition to the fine designs on the corners, the mat uses feathers on the edges instead of different coloured wool. The lady from Rewa said she used feathers as they used to be used by Rewan elders before coloured wool came into use. If you happen to visit the Festival Village on the FDB Foreshore in Suva, try and get to the Rewa Province stall to see the "sere ni daligana" mat.