Keeping Culture Alive

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The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture is encouraging the young people of Samoa to know, practise and live their culture.
To achieve this, a two-week vocational skills training started this week.
The training is teaching skills in weaving, sinnet binding (afa),and navigation. Year 10 and 11 students from Chanel College, Maluafou College, Papauta College, Pesega College,Laumua o Punaoa College and St Joseph’s College are taking part.

While the vocational skills training has been run for 12 years, it’s the first time sinnet binding and navigation has been added to the program.
Hosted at the Museum of Samoa at Malifa, the students’ work will be showcased in the Museum upon completion.
Tutors, Fa’asolo Brown, Tautai Neemia Saili and the Gaualofa crew hope the children will gain a better understanding of their traditional values through the training.
“We hope to encourage the people outside the formal education system to upgrade their skills through participation in a Second Chance Reduction Training Program,” said Brown.
The training is also offering the opportunity to participants to discover their creative potential,nurture their artistic talents and encourage the use of what is available in our environment to make a living.

Navigation is an important skill, Tutor of the Gaualofa crew, Taleni Aiotupotea said.

John Poutou, of Maluafou College beats the coconut husk for the sinnet. “With the wind, they learn that it always blows from the East and when you know the direction of the wind you can locate North and guide yourself on the sea using traditional navigational skills.”

Aiotuputea has been a tutor in navigation for two years and has been trained by the Master Navigator, Tua Pitman, in the Cook Islands.
Next week, participants will test their skills on the boat.

Year 11 students Fa’asao Ah Hong and SolomonaIoanesaid they have enjoyed the lessons.
VaiSaio, Year 10 student from Papauta Girls College,said the...
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