Traditional Fijian woven mats serve as an important part of Fijian identity. Female artisans are taught to make the traditional woven mats from a young age, and finely woven mats are displayed as a source of pride in the household. Simple, practical versions of woven mats are laid over the floors of Fijian homes to serve as rugs, while more elaborate versions of the mats, with woven-in designs and decorative fringes, are used as sleeping mats on top of hibiscus-fiber padding.
Fine Fijian woven mats also serve as a gift or object of exchange at special events, including weddings, funerals, and other important ceremonies. At weddings, fine mats are often given to the bride and groom as wedding presents, and the newly married couple will also give mats as gifts to their wedding guests. This elaborate mat, which has a plaid pattern, an elaborately woven edge, and a colorful fringe of imported yarn, was a gift presented to Mr. Randy Wimmer when he was a guest at the wedding of Mr. Delana and Mrs. Jeannette Mills.
For more information, you may contact the researcher(s) noted in the title of this exhibit entry, or Dr. Billie Follensbee, the professor of the course, at BillieFollensbee@MissouriState.edu