The Fiji Museum Director & Friends of the Fiji Museum would like to invite you and your family to be part of this Presentation on “MASI CLOTH OF THE VANUA”
Presented by Dr. Jara Hukenberg at the Fiji Museum Verandah on Wednesday, 27/1/16 at 6pm.
Based on a combination of literary research and fieldwork this article examines the material and immaterial qualities of Fijian backcloth, known as Masi, to explain the reasons for its continued use in Fijian society from pre-Christian times to the present.
It is argued Masi embodies all the aspects of the vanua, therefore is the vanua and referred to as cloth of the vanua.
As cloth of the vanua Masi is a mediating agent between the sacred and profane, and has an important strengthening and protective function when used during life cycle rituals as a wrap, areas to sit and stand on or path to walk over. Based on the overall design structure of a type of Masi called gatu taunamu Ni Viti (Fijian mosquito net) Masi is interpreted as a house for and point of access to the powers of the ancestor gods.
My analysis of Masi motifs from the Lau province indicates the visual qualities of Masi are representative of the strength and history of the vanua that produced the cloth.
Bring your families and friends and enjoy your evening at the Fiji Museum
Admission : Free
For further clarification you may contact Prakashni Sharma or Vika Koro on Telephone 3315944.
Your Support will be highly appreciated.
Dr. Jara Hukenberg
Jara Hulkenberg is an anthropologist who has done research in Fiji on the production, use and significance of masi (Fijian barklcoth) for her PhD. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Pacific Studies, University of St Andrews where she has done post-doctoral research among Fijian migrants living in the UK. This research examines how and why Fijians in the UK live life ‘in the Fijian way’ (vakaViti)? She investigates how kinship and complex hierarchical relations are played out in the day-to-day fulfillment of ritual obligations centered on life cycle and religious events, and how ceremonies create transnational spaces that connect Fijians globally.
Journal of Material Culture November 15, 2015 1359183515610136