Tag Archives: samoan culture

Doing what works

Wishing I was in the presence of the older generations of experience to hand skills down as practised in the old days.  Knowledge and skills passed down through the years was how things were taught.    The Mango’s Kiss by Albert Wendt brought it home for me.  Through this way of teaching you instantaneously inherit core values like respect, patience, discipline, love and commitment. (And all the others I won’t rattle on about)

Figuring it out myself
Figuring it out myself

Aunts, mothers and grandmothers teaching the skilful art of weaving to young girls from an early age.  Uncles, fathers and grandfathers teaching young men what it is to provide and maintain a working family unit.  Everyone has a role.  Everyone knows their role.  Everyone understands it’s importance.  Even if you don’t understand, it is done.  Simply, because it needs to be done.  Doing what needs to be done because it works.

My current world requires that sometimes, I just gotta figure it out for myself.

Figuring it out for myself means that sometimes I feel like a fraud as in my last post.  I know in my heart I am not one.  Creating from my own imagination with the skills and knowledge acquired so far.  It has not been handed down to me.  The few workshops I have attended to weave a mini mat has been my only hands on teaching.  Google, you tube and books have primarily handed down to me everything else.  This appears to be the modern practise of teaching yourself.  It doesn’t hand down the core values.  (Usually hands down curse words)

My concerns for raising my children in this modern world weaves its way into my creations.  This modern world of information and technology has almost sealed the fate of values and traditions.  Flashing lights and big money no longer resides in the big far away reach of the city.  It’s in my face.  It’s in my children’s face.  Screen technology teaches and hands down whatever it wants you to digest.  Conforms thinking.  Skews reality.  Creates confusion.  Values optional.

Does there need to be a cost for progress?

Doing what needs to be done in your role because it works OR free thinking and freedom of speech because it’s your God given right to have it.  Objections, protesting, unfairness, inequality, legal proceedings, precedents, wars, constantly fighting all day every day.  For what?

How about your only God given right is to breathe and be grateful for that.  The end.

If things are simply done because it WORKS then why chase, change or create.  Because our species are compelled to FIX SH!* THAT AINT BROKE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Driven by ego.
Recognition’s well is dry.
Acknowledgement’s thirsty.
I want to be GOD!
Let’s play.

Seriously.  House of sticks under a coconut tree.  Let’s weave.

Coming in to my own

Maori flax putiputi weaving books
Maori flax weaving books I used to learn how to make flowers (putiputi)

Points of view, in my opinion confuse me.  Maybe the english language has just gotten more confusing than before.  I won’t even go into the efficient language of the mobile phone world which has spilled over into the rest of the world.  LOL.

My kids have picked up on saying, “No offence”, before they make a statement that might offend someone.  For  (a real life) example; “No offence mum, but I think your bum is big”.  OMG. Shock horror.  I know it is big and I am not offended by the truth.  But that is me.  So while I am not offended I still do shush or remind my children not to point that out with other people.  Especially when said children whisper really LOUD on the bus directly opposite the person. “That’s  Not nice”, then replaces innocent honesty.

Oh, it’s such a mixed message world we live in.  If we teach honesty then I think we could accept honesty graciously. 🙂   Teasing and bullying  could be the reason why we curb any sort of remarks about the obvious.  I also remind my children not to make judgements about others, treat others the way you want to be treated, how would you feel, etc…..and to “LOOK AT YOURSELF first”.

Learning about my own Samoan culture is intriguing.  The present day practises of culture appear to vary slightly through opinions.  “That’s NOT how you do it” was what I heard often at my uncles funeral earlier this year.  (It wasn’t about me because of course I had no idea how to do anything ha ha)  I thought it was interesting however and wondered if this is how it was.  Different for different Samoans.

Samoan Weaving HQ by Maureen Unasa
Finding my “own” Samoan culture

The evolution of culture.  The foundations are the same with a few new interpretations as time goes by.

It seems as though I will be finding my “own” Samoan culture.  Seeking my own path.

Traditional weaving and style is what I seek to learn more about, while utilising present day contemporary materials.

Curling ribbon is obviously my favourite medium followed closely by raffia.  Synthetic poly string is now a new candidate for my weaving testing.

So, do my choices of materials  and style of weaving make me less of a Samoan weaver?  I wonder?

Finding my weaving art and style is literally a work in progress.  Currently, I combine Samoan mat weaving with Maori flax flowers (putiputi)weaving.

I acknowledge the Maori people for providing such an extensive selection of resources both online and the good old fashioned books and workshops to share their weaving.  The two books I bought have taught me how to weave Maori putiputi.

Learning to make the Maori putiputi work for my chosen material of curling ribbon is a breakthrough for me.  It seems that the curling ribbon can be too slippery to use for fine mat weaving.  Hmmmm.  I beg to differ.

Embracing my Samoan culture is not about using it to separate myself from other cultures.  Learning and sharing together is the practise of commUNITY.

Weave your life your way 🙂