‘We have to keep our culture’: indigenous pageant celebrates Fiji’s traditional afro hairstyle

‘We have to keep our culture’: indigenous pageant celebrates Fiji’s traditional afro hairstyle

By Alifereti Sakiasi
Friday 20/01/2023
Fijian Buiniga ‘afro’ hair becomes a symbol of national pride [Image: Katie Edwards/The Guardian]

At the annual festival celebrating local culture in the province of Cakaudrove in northern Fiji held in November, alongside celebrations of traditional dress, dance, poetry, song and craftsmanship, the festival held a pageant paying tribute to indigenous hair.

Nine women, representing the different districts in the province, wrapped in tapa, or masi, a traditional printed cloth made from the beaten bark of the mulberry tree and escorted by representatives from their district, showed off their traditional Fijian Buiniga hairstyles.

Arieta Digutu of Ketei village in Fiji, an 18-year-old student, was awarded runner-up in the competition.

“This competition is important, because we have to keep our culture. You don’t see girls my age wearing this hairstyle,” said Digutu, who said she felt proud to follow the example set by her mother and aunt, who also wear their hair in the traditional Buiniga style.

Nana Reggie, hairdresser and salon operator, in the town of Savusavu, said that the Buiniga has been waning in popularity for some time, largely influenced by western representations of beauty. Her customers often ask her to relax and straighten their hair.

“Most people follow the trend,” she said. “In the movies, in America, if they straighten their hair, why can’t we? Then, after a while, they regret it because they’ve lost their texture, lustre, and they can’t get back their afro.”

The festival, which is held each year, brings together people from across the province’s 134 villages to celebrate iTaukei (indigenous Fijian) culture. Iva Batiki, the chief of Savudrodro village in Cakaudrove province – one of the few female chiefs in Fiji – says the hair category was included to encourage women’s pride in their heritage and their land.

“Before, when we looked at our mothers and grandmothers, they always had long Buiniga … We have to be proud to see that, of having Buiniga,” she said.

Article by: Max Cross, pictures by: Katie Edwards

Source: The Guardian

FEATURE NEWS
Pryde is entitled to be paid salaries until he is removed from office - Rabuka
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has stated that the suspended Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde is entitled to continue receiving his ...
18 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Two 15-year-old students questioned for alleged drug possession at school
Two 15-year-old students have been questioned for allegedly possessing methamphetamine and marijuana on school premises. Assistant Commissioner of ...
11 minutes ago

Tamavua Village to benefit from 11-acre business park initiative
More job opportunities are expected to be created for the people of Tamavua Village in Naitasiri as the Yavusa of Matanikutu is developing the land ...
31 minutes ago

Thousands turn up to second last day of Fiji Showcase
The cold Suva weather did not deter thousands of people who came out in numbers to enjoy the second last day of Fiji Showcase while thousands more ...
1 hour ago

PM calls for Online Safety Commission to take action after alleged cyberbullying tragedy
Following allegations that a member of the LGBTIQ+ community was driven to take their own life after getting cyberbullied, Prime Minister Sitiveni ...
15 hours ago

WOWS Kids Foundation seeks donations to aid children with cancer at Fiji Showcase
The WOWS Kids Foundation is seeking assistance from the public and business houses to support the work they do in assisting children living with ...
15 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance Prof. Biman Prasad. 2024-2025 Budget ...
6 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst that led to its deregistration
The FijiFirst Party has been de-registered by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa. This is the end of the party that led government ...
10 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
16 days ago

TOP