Traditional Women’s Crafts of Tonga

In pre-contact Tonga, women did not do the cooking (cooking in an earth oven was hard, hot work, the province of men) or work in the fields. They raised children, gathered shellfish on the reef, and made koloa, barkcloth and mats, which were a traditional form of wealth exchanged at marriages and other ceremonial occasions. An industrious woman thus raised the social status of her household. Her family also slept soundly, on the piles of mats and barkcloth that were the traditional bedding. On sunny days, these were spread on the grass to air, which prolonged their life.
Mat-weaving – Woven mats serve a variety of purposes, from the ordinary to the ceremonial. Many woven mats are passed down from generation to generation, acquiring greater status with the passage of time. It is in fact a collection of these mats in the palace that forms the true crown jewels of Tonga. These royal mats are displayed only on high state occasions such as the death of a member of the royal family or the coronation of a monarch.
Source:en.wikipedia.org

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