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Kelsey Barrett

Fiji is comprised of hundreds of small islands, coral reefs which were home to the likes of jacques cousteau, and the infamous cannibal warriors of the 20th century. The country is protected by governmental regulations, allowing a mere 10% of land to be developed. The mystery of a Fiji adventure can unfold into dense cloud forests belonging to rare megabats, hidden coconut groves with makeshift processing shacks, and fresh water waterfalls with rainbow colored crabs.

When I adventure I love exploring the land as much as I love discovering traditional craft. In Taveuni, "the garden island", homes are shaded by papaya, coconut, and banana trees while walk ways are lined with pineapple plants. These dwellings often sit in a small village, where you'll find woven mats covering the interior and exterior of each home. Meeting many women of the village I found that "loga mats" are made of palm leaves and are color dyed with mud and minerals. Loga mats are traditionally crafted for use in the home as floor coverings, given as gifts with personalized designs, wedding present, and used for burial covering. Fiji culture revolves around this specialized craft as artistic expression and now as a financially steady revenue. So much so, that women now have a say in land management, determining where palm plants should be grown on the land for optimal watering and access.

Fiji is bursting with beauty in every direction, and worthy of any explorers bucket list. Since visiting last I'm working with the Fijian women to share their craft with others, and through group effort have just be certified fair trade.


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    • NewYorkHeartwoods

      Here's to women working in balance with nature's resources. Great article.