|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2008)|
Magimagi is a product made of coconut husk.
The process of weaving the husk into the traditional look is very labor intensive. The earliest record of the unique Magimagi design is listed in the Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition by Wilkes (Wilkes, 1845). Concerning the bures that were on the island Wilkes says, “The walls and roof of the mbure [bure] are constructed of canes about the size of a finger, and each one is wound round with sennit [Magimagi] as thick as cod-line, made from the cocoa-nut husk” (p. 119). The use of Magimagi started when the forefathers of the current inhabitants of the Vulaga islands were constructing their houses and canoes: They did not have nails and screws to connect the beams and the Magimagi (sennit) was born. The unique weaved design is accomplished by Vulaga teams that are able to design many graphics into the look.
Each strand of Magimagi takes approximately 12 months to grow from seed to Magimagi coconut. Then another two days are spent by each weaver who converts the husks into a braid of 1 meter in length. The Magimagi coconut only grows in the Lau group of island in the nation of Fiji Islands. This scarce natural resource is weaved into artistic beauty by the people of Vulaga who are the originators of this unique talent.
There are three different types of weaving;
- Talitali – this is the weaving that is done on horizontal beams.
- Lalawa - this is the weaving that is done on vertical beams.
- Malo/Lairo - this weaving is the design insert.