Tenth Festival of Pacific Arts – Festival village showcases cultural arts and skills
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Pago Pago, American Samoa, Thursday 24 July 2008 – A superb array of arts and crafts and cultural items from around the Pacific is on display at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa.
Participating countries have set up stalls in the festival village at Samoana High School Field, opposite Utulei Beach, not far from the centre of town.
Artists from around the Pacific are displaying and selling beautiful wood carvings, stone sculptures, finely woven pandanus mats, baskets, hats, handbags, jewellery and other accessories.
Samoa has one of the largest stalls displaying a wide variety of cultural items as well as contemporary fashion. Papua New Guinea (PNG), Tonga, Fiji and Solomon Islands also have big displays.
Among the PNG items, the popular traditional hand-knotted bags (bilum) and handmade cane baskets stand out. Strings of shell money,traditionally used as a form of exchange in Solomon Islands, are also selling fast. Tongan handbags and traditional belts are other popular items, as are Fijian tapa and jewellry in traditional designs.
Other activities and art forms on display at the village and other festival venues include traditional tattooing, carving, quilting, painting and drawing, culinary and healing arts, traditional games, and navigation and canoeing. Architects and builders are also demonstrating their skills in constructing traditional designs.
Across from the festival village, traditional and contemporary performances are on show at Utulei Beach against a magnificent backdrop of sea and mountains. Performances are also being held at the Fagatogo Pavilion in the town centre and at the main stadium in the south west of the island.