RBV Deputy Governor, Peter Tarimakem and Director of Vanuatu Cultural Center, Richard Shing

The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) has launched an exhibition featuring traditional woven baskets to promote the usage of conventional bags that would replace plastic bags.

In Vanuatu, baskets are local resources made by Ni-Vanuatu women.

On some islands, pandanus baskets are a form of economic support for Ni-Vanuatu women. In market places in Luganville, Santo and Port Vila, Efate, patterned pandanus baskets are sold as souvenir items.

Through the production and sale of these baskets many women were able to earn a decent living and support their families.

While this is not the case on every island, it is important to note that on some islands, some baskets can be a form of financial support.

With the Government’s recent ban on plastic, the baskets are a good alternative as it is sustainable and easily made, baskets are a better option to a more harmful alternative.

The Exhibition was officially launched by Deputy Governor, Peter Tarimakem.

The theme of the mini-exhibition is – ‘Traditional Weaving and Baskets.’ The exposition is announced to last a month.

Director of Cultural Centre, Richard Shing conveyed during his speech the importance of keeping our traditions alive and using that gift of weaving to help our local economy.

“In the past, all our basic implements and kits were made locally by hand,” said Director Shing

“Baskets were woven by Pandanus, Coconut or other natural fibre and is used to carry our supplies from one place to another, in other words it is a convenient form of carriage.

“We have different traditional ways of weaving and they are all unique at their own way.

“We also have separate types of woven baskets, not only for storing but for traps and other significant practices.

“I am glad the Government has announced the ban of plastics so we can revive to our old ways of using traditional woven bags which is our identity as a Ni-Van.

“With global influence, we have adapted into the culture of buying plastic bags.

“Now, with this new ban, I hope the people can see this as a way of not only protecting our environment but reviving back to our old traditions and culture.”