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FIJITIMES ONLINE - MANEESHA KARAN
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Traditional canoes from Rabi Island took part in the regatta
RABI Island brought two of its traditional canoes across to Savusavu in the bid to keep their culture alive.
Spokesman for the people of Rabi Island Biara Touakin said people had forgotten the significance of the traditional art and skill.
The canoes were shipped to Savusavu by Consort Shipping services.
"This is the first time for the people of Rabi to take part in the outrigger race and we thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase our culture."
More than 50 Banabans came across to Savusavu to support their 'exhibition of culture'.
"We have brought two of our traditional canoes for participation in the regatta. These canoes are not used by the Banabans for sporting events but for fishing activities.
"The use of these canoes is inexpensive because we don't have to buy fuel for it. The people use it fishing because it is the livelihood of the island people and fish is always in high demand amongst the Banabans," Mr Touakin said.
In the past, the same kind of canoe was mainly used by people for their daily work and earning income.
"They used it for transportation while migrating from one island to another or crossing sea. Today many people own fibreglass boats and outboard motors but it becomes expensive in terms of fuel," he said.
A canoe on Rabi costs around $300.