06 October, 2006

Solomon Islands men weave "buka" baskets

Men from Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces of the Solomon Islands wove "buka" baskets which are on display at the Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival Village at the FDB Foreshore in Suva. The baskets, which have been a hit with the crowds, are made from special vines that are readily available in the bushes which are dried in the sun before use. The baskets are traditional to the Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces and only men from the two provinces weave the baskets. At closer look, one can notice the different designs on the sides of the baskets. This is the distinguishing feature amongst the baskets. The preparation and weaving of the vines into a regular sized basket takes more than a week. The baskets are selling between F$60.00 to $100.00 depending on their sizes. Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea stall is selling "bilum" bags. The bags are traditional to the southern part of Papua New Guinea and are the ones that the older generation used to carry with them as they go to the plantation or to church. Visit the stalls at the Festival Village to check out the various handicraft on display and sale.

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