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The art and soul of Pasifika.

November 7, 2008
by Cate

by Cate

Pasifika art is something I had never really appreciated, that is, up to now. Most of my childhood was spent dreaming about pop stars, studying French Impressionism, or Italian Renaissance. Thankfully my taste in art has changed as I mature.

With every visit back to New Zealand, I experience something new. I enjoy these surprises because I thought I had seen it all in New Zealand. As you know New Zealand is not a large country.

One of my surprises I discovered a few years back are Kava bowls. These bowls may or may not be classified as ‘art’ in some books, but to me I see them as something more than humble crafts. The intricate carvings around the bowl’s rim, the careful selection of the wood.

by Cate

by Cate

Then there are the ceremonies that go behind the kava bowls significance. Kava – a mouth numbing drink- welcomes friends and family, celebrates life and honours special guests.

My Fijian Kava bowl may not be a high end art piece. But compared with other bowls I’ve collected over the years, the kava bowl outranks them all in design, style and tradition.

by Cate

by Cate

Travelling to the Pacific Islands may not be a viable option for many living in the northern hemisphere. Time, distance and cost are factors you have to consider. But if you plan on going to New Zealand, or even Australia, you can find on your travels – Pasifika art. Afterall New Zealand is well located to these islands, and has a strong Pasifika influence.

Keep an eye out for Pasifika shops while travelling in New Zealand. These can be found in most main centres in New Zealand. I found a delightful one in the southern port of “Port Chalmers”, filled with small crafts, mats, bowls and Tapa cloth.

Keep an eye out for my next post. If you don’t know what Tapa is I’ll introduce you to it.

Caffeinated Traveller


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