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Women Speak Out! A Report of the Pacific Women's Conference. October 27 – November 2

Answer by Esiteri Kamikamica

Answer by Esiteri Kamikamica

Yes, I do. But I find the way out is by asking relations to come, because I cannot afford to pay anybody. I once sat down and said to the girls: “Is there anyone here who has any relations who can teach us a good meke or dance?” The girls said: “We want to go away tonight and think about it and ask everybody.”

Some of the people in Fiji will tell you that it's one of the dances that has been performed by schoolgirls really skillfully. The old man who taught the dance to the girls was paid in kind - we used traditional ways to pay him. We went in the traditional way to invite him with yagona, talked to him, I used to pick him up and bring him to school. I used to give him fifty cents or more each time he came - this was for his tavako or cigarettes. We then held a ‘vakacirisalusalu’ at the end of his teaching period, that is, we performed the meke he taught us and thanked him in style and the girls gave him anything that they could give: a dress, a sulu, a shirt, whatever, and mats, and we all presented these to him. Then we all ate together and we really had a wonderful time. So it was payment in the traditional way, because we could not afford the money.