20 March 2010

Genealogy and Fine Mats

I got my first fine mat from Grandma Mataniu when I was 16. Grandma was cleaning out her room and asked me to help her lift up her mattress. I thought it was a funny request but being obedient I did. Under her bed were beautiful brown leaf mats woven with colorful feathers and yarn. I could tell the mats took some time to weave, as the weaving was very fine and delicate. Grandma carefully looked through her fine mats and choose one, she said, “Here, this is for you. Take very good care of it.” She continued to tell me the family history on how she got this mat and the family names that are tied to it.
I thought it was just a pretty mat from Grandma but it was more then just a mat. It is a part of my culture, my family and me. Till today I still have this fine mat and treasure it dearly. Tanielu Sataraka, editor of the Samoa International Newspaper said, '"To us they are two basic sacred traditions of Samoan culture and that is genealogy and fine mats...”.

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