Tailevu women cater at chiefs meeting
Village women of Tailevu Province put aside family and village obligations to cater for guests on Bau island for the weeklong Great Council of Chiefs meeting.
Responding to the call from the vanua most of them spent the night on Bau, cooking and catering as chiefs and their representatives from Fiji’s 13 provinces (minus Namosi) and Rotuma have started arriving to the island.
“It was on short notice, but we gladly accepted the call of the vanua because this is what is expected of is,” said Marica, from Savu Village in the district of Vugalei.
“We are fulfiling our traditional role as hands of service to the chiefly household of Bau. This role dates back to our forefathers and reflects the traditional links between the chiefly household of Bau and the vanua o Vugalei.
“Our traditional link allows us to move freely in the village. We go to Mateiwelagi and we can freely minle around.”
The traditional caterers for the Bau chiefs also come with special delicacies they are known for.
Such as taro leaves dishes from Wainibuka in northern Tailevu and tivoli (yams) and prawns from Savu Village in Vugalei. “I am from Taveuni. I am married here. Just like the people of Macuata in Vanua Levu are known for their kawai kamikamica (sweet yams), the people of Vugalei are known for their Tivoli and ura,” said Vani Ralolokula of Natobuniqio Village in Vugalei.
“These are the dishes we bring to valelevu whenever there is a function here.”
Helen Dromuni, Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei representative of Waicoka, Koronikalou, Vatoa and Ovea villages in tikina o Bau, said more women will arrive today.
“As is only traditional, we are supporting our paramount chief on his invitation to have the Bose Levu Vaka Turaga on Bau,” she said.
“It is a great honour for the women of Tailevu to be here today to provide support for this important event.”