Island Art of the Seacology Office (Part II): Fiji
Seacology has initiated over 20 projects in Fiji, thanks in part to our field representatives in the region. The work of the field representatives was discussed in Karen's most recent blog, "How a Seacology Project is Born". Because we work so often with Fijian villages, we have received many thank you gifts from these wonderfully generous people - and most of these have ended up on the walls of the Seacology office.
In Nacamaki Village on Koro Island, where the local villagers are renowned for their traditional gift of turtle calling (sea turtles respond to chanting by swimming in to shore) Seacology repaired a community center in exchange for the conservation of hundreds of thousands of acres of marine environment. Participants of Seacology's 2005 expedition to Fiji visited Nacamaki and were presented with the tapa cloth artwork to the right. Tapa is a bark cloth made in various islands of the Pacific Ocean and is painted with traditionally black and rust-brown dyes. As seen in the tapa cloth above, however, a variety of other colors can now also be used.
To the left is a child's dancing skirt from Nukubalavu Village, Vanua Levu Island. Seacology is building a preschool in the village in exchange for a 25 thousand acre marine reserve. The 2008 Seacology expedition to Fiji will visit Nukubalavu Village for the opening of the school, where grass skirts such as this one will likely be seen during the welcome ceremony.
To the right is a traditional woven mat from Nadogo Village presented to members of the 2001 Seacology expedition to Fiji. Mats are important in Fijian society not only for usage as seats and bedding, but also to be presented in village ceremonies, such as this one was. This particular mat hangs at the top of the stairs leading to the Seacology office and greets our visitors as warmly as Seacology has been received in Fiji.