An appreciation and value for the unique creativity and cultural tradition of the past anchors people in the present and is the basis for a healthy outlook on the future. Finely woven and intricately and symbolically designed mats are a valuable cultural asset of the Marshallese people that are fully understood by few and are in danger of being lost forever. Retaining this knowledge and being aware of this cultural art is now recognized as a source of cultural pride for the people as well as a source of sustainable livelihoods for those now newly engaged in finely decorative weaving.
The Jaki-Ed revival program began on two levels: A request to all of the country’s weavers to supply jaki-ed for an exhibition and silent auction and the running of a weaving course at the National Vocational Institute led by a small group of expert weavers. All involved in the jaki-ed revival program, including its patron Iroij Mike Kabua, agreed this was a wonderful idea and so USP found donor funding from the Australian Government’s AusAID program to build a weavers’ house’ in the back garden of the campus.
For more information, please visit the website: http://www.clothingmatsofthemarshalls.com/vm/index.html