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Stories From Kiribati


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The headband called 'Te Itoi' and how to make it (video)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 11, 2021 at 8:50 AM Comments comments ()

The headband we are talking about in this article is called ‘Te Itoi’. ‘Itoi’ is a Kiribati word meaning ‘star’. As you see in the picture, this headband assembles the shape of a star - so we guess that’s how the item first got its name. Calling it a garland (apart from headband) is acceptable since the item is meant to be put on a person's head.

The making of this headband is simple and requires little time. The green (or white) leaves of ...

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How To Make A Dancing Garland Called Tetai (video)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 18, 2019 at 11:15 AM Comments comments ()

Tetai is the name of the garland made primarily for use in traditional dancing. It’s so exceptional in its shape, structure, purpose and of course location on the dancer. It stands out clearly and can be easily identified from the rest of the dance costumes. It’s also hardly left out from the dancer during a formal traditional performance. And if it happens to fall down from the dancer’s head due to vigorous dance movements, it is a practice that someone from the dance group...

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Local basket known as bengabenga

Posted by Amota Eromanga on May 31, 2019 at 1:20 PM Comments comments ()

There are several different types of baskets that IKiribati can weave from the coconut leaves including bwaabwa, kabiaua, abein, bengabenga and more. This is so since baskets are indeed useful and handy domestic items which we can easily make from plenty of coconut trees growing around us. These baskets differ in their shapes, structures, uses and durability. Further, some are easy to make while others require advanced weavers to make them. Each basket is woven differently therefore if someon...

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Local basket known as 'bwaabwa'

Posted by Amota Eromanga on May 22, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments ()

The word ‘bwaabwa’ is the name of a particular type of basket that is woven only from the green leaves of the coconut tree. The basket is rectangular in shape and has a long straight opening at the top. It looks attractive when newly produced since the raw material being used is the living green leaf cut right off the coconut tree. It then gradually loses its smooth greenish colour over time until the basket becomes dry brown. It is also light to carry and place it around the hous...

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How To Make A Garland Known as Itera

Posted by Amota Eromanga on April 12, 2019 at 4:20 AM Comments comments ()

The word ‘itera’ is the local name for the special type of flower garland that consists of two layers. The top layer is made of green plant leaves while the bottom layer has colored flowers. The core use of this particular type of garland is for decorating and making a person look decent during formal and informal social gatherings. It has been an important device and its presence seems to not only for expressing the beauty and excitement but also for signifying the honour and imp...

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Making Te Ano (ball) Using Coconut Leaflets

Posted by Amota Eromanga on March 12, 2019 at 1:15 PM Comments comments ()

Before the arrival of foreign items into Kiribati, we had our own traditional ball which we could make from the leaves of the coconut or pandanus trees. Using dry pandanus leaves instead of coconut leaflets will end up with a larger ball because pandanus leaves are longer and wider. We could make either a small or bigger one depending on the size preferences. If we prefer a bigger ball, then it’s important to use more leaflets. The more leaflets used in weaving, the bigger the final bal...

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Becoming a woman

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 19, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments ()

Taatita was a twelve year old girl who lived with her parents and grandparents on Tarawa. When the time came to celebrate the fact that Taatita was a young woman instead of a little girl, she stayed inside a hut with her grandmother for three days.

She was given a special diet by her grandmother. This was to teach her how to control and spend her family resources wisely in the future. Her grandmother gave her dried coconut to eat and water to drink in small amounts. She was no...

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How to make a toy windmill from coconut leaflets (video)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 3, 2013 at 1:45 AM Comments comments ()

Has your kid ever asked you to make him/her a toy windmill from the coconut leaflet? If yes but you apologized for not knowing how to, then this article is for you. It’s a guide in making this peculiar toy and I’d say that the steps provided in this article and attached video are simple and easy to follow. I suggest you have the leaflet in your hands so you build one as you read down the steps.

Kids really ...

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How to make coconut wine

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 22, 2013 at 5:50 AM Comments comments ()

Coconut wine is actually fermented liquor that could only be obtained from the juice of the coconut flowers. The juice is specifically called toddy. Fresh toddy is sweet and tasty before it is turned into wine. Once it has become wine, then it tastes sour much like any other alcoholic drinks. 

We will now discuss two methods of making coconut wine our Kiribati wine makers usually carry out!

Method One

Things needed:

i. todd...

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How to make a coconut cup

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 21, 2013 at 5:30 AM Comments comments ()

What we are discussing this time is how to make a cup out of the coconut. Wait! Why using coconut cups when there are plenty of other types of cups? Well - they are a lot cheaper, durable and very easy as well as fun to make. Above all, using them at home makes you and your family look traditional and tropical :-)

Just follow the 8 steps below and you will end up with a nice coconut cup that is best for holding both hot and cold drinks. Refer to the images provided below the a...

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