MareqetiViti displays of models of extinct Fijian animals made from recycled materials.
Many of the visitors to the MareqetiViti booth showed tremendous interest in the flightless pigeon and land crocodile models which Anne O’Brien had created from recycled fabrics.
The animal models were created to raise awareness of species that once roamed Fiji but are now extinct. These extinct species were discovered in remains found in Volivoli cave Sigatoka in 1996-98. Bones of the giant flightless pigeon and the crocodile were amongst many other fossilized bones found in the cave, including a giant iguana, a tortoise (yes a tortoise not a turtle) and an unknown megapode all indicated an age of 10,000-20,000 years before present.
In addition to the discussions centred on the animal models and extinct species, we had the opportunity of engaging with interested individuals on the conservation work done by MareqetiViti. This generated a great deal of interest and we managed to attract seven new subscriptions and others were very generous with their donations supporting particular MareqetiViti projects.
Some of the younger children spent time at the MareqetiViti booth learning about Fiji’s species through colouring and painting. Very popular were butterfly and bat cut-outs made from masi materials which the children painted – providing a wonderful variety of colour choice !
We are very grateful to Anne O’Brien who led a team of five wonderful volunteers studying at the University of the South Pacific who ran the the ISS craft fair booth for MareqetiViti. And we would like to take this opportunity to thank the many other members, supporters, friends and volunteers who have assisted or are assisting the work of our organization all over Fiji. Vinaka vakalevu.