A LOCAL mama is encouraging all ni-Vans to weave, especially young girls because it’s a way of keeping our culture.

Anyone walking through the streets of Port Vila will find this hardworking mama is sitting in front of the Centre Point selling locally made handicrafts.

Rossy Keletier from Malekula said her mother taught her how to weave since childhood.

“Since independence many ni-Vans don’t really concentrate on weaving so I want to encourage the local mamas who do weaving most of the time to teach their daughters also,” she said.

“Weaving is a good business because you make income every day, rather than waiting for two weeks to get paid.

“Many people passing by, especially young girls who are unemployed, always get the impression that weaving is nothing but I want to let them know that instead of sitting down at home doing nothing, do something useful.

“Weaving is money.”

Mrs Keletier does a lot handicrafts using local products like weaving hats using banana, burao, corn and pandanus leaves.

“I usually pay the pandanus leaves from the local mamas from Pentecost, the buraos from the market and the banana leaves at my home,” she said.

“Apart from hats, I also weave island baskets, do some sewing and also some paintings.

“The prices for the hats is VT 2000, VT 1500 and VT1000 and the island baskets cost VT 2500 (big ones) and VT 1000 (small ones).”

Mr Keletier said she owned a project known as the ‘Mala ‘project and it was launched in June last year at the Ohlen Whitewood Mamas market.

“The main aim for this project is to display my own local made products for the locals to see and also encourage young girls and mamas to start weaving,” she said.

“I encourage the local mamas to start weaving in the morning till lunch time so in the afternoon when they went to the road market to do VT20 sale of food they can get money from weaving and the road market at the same time.” READ MORE