BY GEORGINA KEKEA
LOCAL carvers in Solomon Islands continue to face challenges in selling their cultural artefacts. Carvers from Marovo lagoon, Western province told Island Sun that in order for them to sell their artefacts they have to be pro-active.
All the way from Gatokae village, Dennis Pelobule had been selling his products at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) complex during regional gatherings.
Pelobule told Island Sun that since they have no space to sell their artefacts, they have to find places where they can be able to sell.
He said it is an issue for them but with the support they have from the Regional organisation, they can be able to sell their artefacts during regional gatherings at the Secretariat.
Also selling his artefacts at the FFA complex, another carver from Marovo who reside at Titinge says in times like this, he will have to travel from Titinge to Kolaridge to sell his products.
Mr Willie Posala is a carver who had lost a part of his hand in a dispute way back in the late ‘70s. No matter being disabled from the loss of his hand, he had defied the odds by using his feet to make carvings. “I use my feet,” he says.
Posala said he has no problem using his feet to carve object he wants and with the support from his wife together they sell cultural artefacts. His wife specialises in making local hand fans and baskets and he does the selling apart from making carvings.
“I go from door to door, visit expat homes, offices in order to sell our products including exhibiting our products at art gallery.” He says it is difficult to get people to buy their products thus they need to be pro-active in how they do their selling.
Posala says as a local carver, he wish the government will provide a big gallery for them, divided into the different provinces so that it is more orderly for people to visit them.
“In our belief as craftsmen, we believe that we bring in more money into our country but government doesn’t recognise our contribution.”
Currently local craftsmen and women are allocated a space outside and inside the National Art Gallery to sell their artefacts. However most of their bulk customers are tourists and not so much from the domestic market.
The local carvers said they are most grateful to the FFA Executive management to allow them access to sell their products in the complex during regional gatherings.