Documentary Photography Daily Life In Vanua Levu, Fiji

Silio Fans Fire:
Silio Lalaqila of the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group (SSG) fans the fire in a makeshift kitchen of his plantation camp. Jars of sugar, salt, and empty tea cups line shelves while stalks of cassava and yaqona litter the ground. These simple amenities transform his undoubtedly crude pile of building supplies into a home.

This documentary photography was submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by environmental photojournalist Steven Saphore.

From Project: “Vanua Levu Life”

Weave: Sisilia knows it's all in the leaves as she weaves a traditional Fijian mat from locally grown voivoi, a species of pandanus. With deforestation out of the question, villages along the lower shore of Natewa Bay partake in various crafts, traditions and business ventures to support themselves economically. Every Wednesday in Muana village, women flock to the community hall to practice the art of handicraft... and gossip.

Weave:
Sisilia knows it’s all in the leaves as she weaves a traditional Fijian mat from locally grown voivoi, a species of pandanus. With deforestation out of the question, villages along the lower shore of Natewa Bay partake in various crafts, traditions and business ventures to support themselves economically. Every Wednesday in Muana village, women flock to the community hall to practice the art of handicraft… and gossip.

Bakers: With deforestation out of the question, villages along the lower shore of Natewa Bay partake in various crafts, traditions and businesses in order to support themselves economically. The Vusasivu Bakers proudly supply villagers with fresh bread cooked over open fires.

Bakers:
With deforestation out of the question, villages along the lower shore of Natewa Bay partake in various crafts, traditions and businesses in order to support themselves economically. The Vusasivu Bakers proudly supply villagers with fresh bread cooked over open fires.

 

Click on any image to see Steven’s gallery of projects.

 

Masi: Women, men, and children gather in the community hall of Muana Village to learn the traditional art of Masi printing. Traditional designs and motifs (known as Masi) are elaborately stenciled on tapestries made from the bark of a mulberry tree.

Masi:
Women, men, and children gather in the community hall of Muana Village to learn the traditional art of Masi printing. Traditional designs and motifs (known as Masi) are elaborately stenciled on tapestries made from the bark of a mulberry tree.

Milky Way: Absolutely devoid of light pollution, grandiose displays of the Milky Way radiate across the skies of Cakaudrove at night.

Milky Way:
Absolutely devoid of light pollution, grandiose displays of the Milky Way radiate across the skies of Cakaudrove at night.

 

Click on any image to see Steven’s gallery of projects.

 

Boat Shuttle: Silio transports supplies from the town of Savusavu to his home, Muana Village. The small coastal community is only accessible by crossing Natewa bay on a boat today as recent flooding and poor road conditions has made vehicular access impossible.

Boat Shuttle:
Silio transports supplies from the town of Savusavu to his home, Muana Village. The small coastal community is only accessible by crossing Natewa bay on a boat today as recent flooding and poor road conditions has made vehicular access impossible.

Misty Mountain Hop: On the peninsula of Natewa Tunuloa, Silio Lalaqila, Chairman of the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group (SSG), points to the over 15,000 acres of jungle and forest under their guardianship. These cloud-capped mountains are home to the elusive Silktail (Sisi in Fijian), a native Fijian bird from which the SSG have taken their name and are sworn to protect.

Misty Mountain Hop:
On the peninsula of Natewa Tunuloa, Silio Lalaqila, Chairman of the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group (SSG), points to the over 15,000 acres of jungle and forest under their guardianship. These cloud-capped mountains are home to the elusive Silktail (Sisi in Fijian), a native Fijian bird from which the SSG have taken their name and are sworn to protect.

SSG Scan: Peeking from the darkness of a bushy alcove, an SSG member scans the area of jungle overlooking Natewa Bay with binoculars for any signs of native bird life. An unlimited supply of fresh water is just one of the many benefits villages in Natewa Tunuloa have reaped from protecting their forests, jungles, and wildlife.

SSG Scan:
Peeking from the darkness of a bushy alcove, an SSG member scans the area of jungle overlooking Natewa Bay with binoculars for any signs of native bird life. An unlimited supply of fresh water is just one of the many benefits villages in Natewa Tunuloa have reaped from protecting their forests, jungles, and wildlife.

 

See also:

Shadows Of The Past: Fiji’s Forgotten Underground World

By Steven Saphore

 


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