Monday, September 02, 2013

Traditional Fijian wedding. Suva. Fiji 2013

Attending a traditional Fijian wedding was a highlight of visit to Fiji.  Our friend Temo from Tovu village on the Island of Totoya was so kind to invite us to his son Saimoni's wedding.  Our day started at 8:30 AM with Temo arrived in a Taxi to wisk us back to his brothers home where the grooms party had assembled and was busy preparing for the post wedding feast. It rained like crazy all day, but it didn't dampen the spirits of day, but it did make for lots of mud walking to the church and back.
Saimoni and Bua on their wedding day August 31, 2013

Preparing the grooms traditional tapa cloth robe for the wedding. 
Prior to the wedding preparations for the bride and groom take place in different homes.  Saimoni's uncle was the host and had rented or borrowed the neighbors home for the brides family to hang out and prepare the bride.  Even though we were only feet apart the families didn't mix until after the wedding ceremony at the church.  
Since we were guests of the grooms father, Temo from Tovu village on Totoya Island, we had a inside look at the preparations for the groom.  Here Saimoni is getting dressed by his mother, grand mother and sister.
 The flower garland as fragrant as it was large.

 Traditional mats with beautiful wool fringe.
 Bridal party's table was the only one in the home besides a prep table in the Kitchen 

The Presbyterian church in-between downpours.
 Kathy with the grooms family
Wedding ceremony Fijian style.  
Ring girl
 Flower boy

Beautiful couple with incredible traditional tapa cloth wedding dress.
Pouring rain 
Kitchen with a lovo earthen oven
Kid's plates
 Wedding party spread

 Fried fish with an artistic flare
 Center: Dalo (taro) cooked to perfection in the lovo earth oven. 

 Enjoying the incredible food
Exchange of gifts.  Temo with a bundle of Yaqona (kava) and sperm whale tooth on a plaited coconut fiber rope.  The whales tooth or Tambu is a gift of the highest order.  It was a real honor to observe the exchange between the bride and grooms fathers.  Even though we didn't understand a single word of the Fijian you could definitely tell this was serious heartfelt business.   This is my favourite digital capture from the event.
 Brides family presents mats, a chest full of goodies and tons of pillows and linens.   We're not exactly sure of the significance of all the linens and over 40 pillows, but there is something there.

Brides father (right) with presenting the Tambu to Temo (left) with bride Bua in the middle.
 Cute little girl with some high heels
 Drinking some grog after dinner to cap off a incredible cultural experience.