Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This is going to take awhile to load so start it, read below, get some hot chocolate, make some popcorn, and come back. :)

My friend Magreth has 3 sisters. Gretchen and Tania both have gotten to know her oldest sister, Wini. Wini invited us to come up to her place (on the same grounds as Magreth's) for a katikati. I guess what a katikati is is a sort of raffle game. Two deck of cards are used. In this case, for 5o vatu (about 50 cents), a card could be "purchased." Once all cards from that deck are purchased, a card from the 2nd deck is drawn. People holding the purchased cards check theirs against what was drawn. Whoever's card was drawn wins the prize (example: 7 of hearts), which in this case was an island dress. Wini sells the dresses for 1500 vatu each (about $15). This isn't much for something hand-sewn and for a dress in general, but it is a pretty high price for island dresses here. The one dress I did buy when I first arrived was 1000 vatu (about $10) so she's getting a bit more profit than others do. Wini just stepped down from her other job working as nanny and housegirl for a New Zealand woman, so it seemed she was using this katikati as a kick-off to let women in her neighborhood know she is selling dresses out of her home now. The older generation of women wear island dresses nearly exclusively, but otherwise women and children wear them for church, weddings and funerals, ceremonies, and other special occassions. Doing the sale allowed Wini to make a bit more on the dresses (assuming lots came to the katikati and bought cards) and also allowed some women a chance at a new island dress for a fraction of the cost. Wini asked us to come up to help with prep and set-up so we had some nice times to hang out, practice Bislama, see a new aspect of culture, and deepen relationship with her and the rest of their family. Thanks to Wini's daughter Beverly, I got lots of pictures I'd never have gotten on my own!

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