Climate Change Impacts Materials For Fiji’s Traditional Arts

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Trees, plants required for masi, mats impacted across country

By Serafina Silaitoga

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 19, 2015) – Climate change has had an impact on trees and plants that are raw materials for traditional assets such as masi and mats.

Director Heritage and Culture for the Ministry of Education, Lusiana Fotofili said the impact of climate change on these raw materials had been felt and seen on islands around the country.

She made the comment at the "Introduction to iTaukei Culture through traditional handicraft" workshop for about 100 students in Labasa yesterday.

"In some of our islands we are beginning to see the effects of climate change due to sea level rise, which impacts on the growing of raw material," she said.

"These are the mulberry trees and its bark which is used for masi making and the growth of pandanus leaves and even knowing which soils are the right soils to use for pottery making.

"So, we must all be mindful of the need to plant more raw materials. Have the knowledge to choose the appropriate materials and to keep the skills alive."

Mrs Fotofili encouraged the students to look after the environment well.

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