Woven mats, hats, purses, baskets, fans, wall hangings and jewelry from the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Nauru, Guam and Kiribati festively adorned the new space at Long Island Conference Center now part of the University of the South Pacific campus in Majuro.
As the third such gathering of Pacific weavers it demonstrated continuing creativity and aesthetic excellence through the gathered participants. It was held in Majuro December 8-11 and organized by USP Director Dr. Irene Taafaki and Maria Kabua Fowler, Marshall Islands traditional leader and activist with support from the French government and the local community. The third in a Gathering of Weavers from around the region, it allowed participants to share knowledge, techniques and learn about each other’s cultures.
For three days weavers from these different areas lived, ate, talked story, and wove together in a spirit of cooperation and admiration of each other’s works and personal achievements. Friendships formed from previous meetings in Honolulu and Papeete were strengthened and new ones made.
The Weavers Gathering coincided with the 9th Annual Jaki-Ed Mat Exhibition and Auction held at the Melele Room of the Marshall Islands Resort which has generously hosted the project since its beginning in 2006. Representatives of K&K Cooperation, Bank of the Marshall Islands, Jemeita Kabua Trust, and the Trust Company of the Marshall Islands presented prize money to the winning weavers who were:
• Master Weavers: Betty Lobwij first, Daisy Riklon second and third.
• Selected Apprentices: Meline Areab first, Artina Clarence second and Clantine Moladrik third.
Read more about this and see lots of photos in the December 18, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.