Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9, 2010 Sevusevu

September 9, 2010 Sevusevu

Something we anticipate in our upcoming travels to a village on an island is a ceremony called Sevusevu. The following is blatantly stolen from the handout given by Waitui Marina:

"Upon arrival to a village or inhabited island, a gift of yaqona, also known as kava, is normally presented to the village mayor, the Turaga ni Koro, or to the village chief, Turaga ni Vanua, if he is present.
The preferred presentation is ½ kg of unpounded Kava root for yachts. The Sevusevu is a solemn ceremony where a village man acts as a spokesman for the villagers. If the Sevusevu is accepted, the chief will welcome the visitors to his village offering protection and all reasonable assistance within the village boundaries. If you plan on fishing for dinner, please ask for permission as well. You may be invited to join in around the kava or grog tanoa (bowl). It is customary to drink the bilo (cup) of grog in one long swallow. When you are presented with the bilo, you clap once. When you finish the contents, return the bilo and clap three times."

Since Tonga, the outfit I can wear to town has been reduced to one. The dress code is very conservative and women in general have their shoulders and knees covered. Here in Savusavu, most women are in skirts and they are quite pretty. Like a school uniform, I wear my purple skirt and long-sleeve white shirt every day and it's quite simple. Men also wear a long skirt called Sulu as it is probably disrespectful to show up in surf shorts or speedos. Mike and Jamie each bought a Sulu and we can't wait until we see them in action.

We just had our last curry dinner in town and returned. Indulging in some New Zealand ice cream, we sat by the docks and listened to Pate's band playing music. Pate is a multi-talented man who works at Waitui marina who took Mike and Jamie out spear fishing to his village. We learned many things about his family and culture. He has a teddy bear kind of face that displays pure kindness. What gives him that special mellow character? Could I possibly learn such qualities? After we said good-bye and rowed away in the dark, I felt sad about leaving. Savusavu has been a special one.


No comments:

Post a Comment