Eleven year old weaver makes history at National Fine Mats Exhibition
Apia, SAMOA— An 11 year old school girl of Nofoalii village, was the youngest to display the fine mat she worked on for 8 months at yesterday’s National & Exhibition of Fine Mats that kicked off the official activities to celebrate the national Mother’s Day.
Sharon Toetu – a shy Year 7 student at Nofoali’i Primary School, stole the limelight not only being the youngest weaver, but achieving what other women only dream of.
She stood out of the women’s groups from 82 villages from Upolu and Savai’i that participated in the noisy and lively public display of the best of their fine mats and siapo woven over the last 12 months.
Overwhelmed by the whole ceremony, Sharon’s proud grandmother, Telesia Televave said her granddaughter was a shining example for all her grandchildren.
She said Sharon was always with the weavers of her family and the village and she knew her granddaughter was interested in weaving.
“As young as 5, Sharon started weaving little things until she challenged herself and wove a sleeping mat – falalili’i,” said Telesia.
Early last year, Telesia encouraged her 3 daughters to weave fine mats for the village exhibition, and Sharon, not wanting to be left behind, asked her mother Rosa Toetu to start-off weaving a fine mat, and let her finish it.
And so began 8 months of commitment to weaving the fine mat that was showcased yesterday.