Preservation Of Samoa Sennit-Making Aided By U.S.

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Samoa Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Apia, Samoa

Monday, February 4, 2013

Knowledge and skills associated with the traditional Samoan craft of sennit making will be preserved thanks to a US$47,000 (T$103,000) grant from the United States Government.

Galumalemana Steven Percival of the Tiapapata Art Center Incorporated, a charitable trust promoting traditional and contemporary arts and crafts in Samoa, will manage the project with funding provided by the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

U.S. Ambassador David Huebner presented the award to Mr. Percival during a ceremony at Malifa on Friday.

Mr. Huebner said the fund supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world.

"I am pleased to present this award to the Tiapapata Art Center because I believe cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity," he said.

"By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for other cultures."

The Tiapapata Art Center will be working closely with the Culture Division of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) in the implementation of the project.

The grant provides financial support to document traditional ecological knowledge and techniques associated with the making and use of the ’afa, a cultural product that once contributed to the wellbeing and lifestyles of all Samoans.

The main output of the project will be a documentary film exploring the making and use of coconut sennit. In addition, a special exhibit of the craft will be developed for display at the National Museum of Samoa.

The project presents an opportunity for capacity building in educational and documentary filmmaking by the Audio/Visual staff at the MESC Culture Division.


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