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Documenting the last surviving Motu Potter in Boera Village

Posted by Abby Silver
Tomás Dietz  is and Australian-born a flamenco dancer/teacher by profession who has  Scottish, German and Motu (Papua New Guinea) heritage. Tomás is raising money to document the Motu ceramic tradition.  To contribute to his efforts, follow this link:  http://igg.me/at/motupottery/x/434542

Vabu Lohia Muri

Vabu Lohia Muri— ​Boio​ ​Moi​—​the last surviving Motu potter in Boera village

I’m calling out to the ​international ​community to support a project of cultural preservation, revival and development of traditional Motu pottery in Papua New Guinea, under ‘Project Gida’ at Boera Village. The field work is essentially to document the knowledge and oral history of the last surviving Motu potter in Boera village. The outcome would be to produce a detailed technical training video as well as a general interest video about traditional Motu pottery.Using this information I would investigate and implement educational programs to return relevance of this tradition to modern Motuans, to bring about a renewed source of meaning, artistry and pride, and therefore a revival of its practice.​ At the core of ​these ​programmes ​will be to establish a Motu Pottery Society​ that would be ​managed by women, ​since they are ​​the traditional ​practitioners and owners ​​of pottery in Motu culture. I also plan to launch activities in communities abroad where Motu Koita people have settled, thereby introducing an international chapter into this Project and thus developing another opportunity for cross-cultural experience for a broad spectrum of communities across the globe.

borea pot

Motu ‘hodu’, a traditional water-pot

Project Gida is ​the umbrella plan. It is ​non-profit, community-oriented, and specifically implemented to preserve and revive ​all identified ​fading traditions of the Motu people.​  ​Cultural strength equates with social stability. ​Thus, it will provide long-term ​and deeply rooted ​cultural well-being to the thousands of Motu people in PNG’s Central Province as well as to those living abroad. It promises to provide further significant flow-on benefit to the community at large in terms of cross-cultural education and tourism.

I am implementing this project on my own steam, and so I am hoping to receive donations from my community to help enable this important project.

ALLOCATION OF FUNDS:
Funds will be used primarily to buy airfares and visas to take a small documentary team of 4 people from Sydney to Boera. It’s hoped that funds will be sufficient to cover other project expenses, such as accommodation, food, materials and equipment, and field work vehicle hire.  Boera is a relatively isolated Motu village about an hour’s drive from Port Moresby. It once had a thriving pottery industry and was one of the most prolific centres of high quality pottery production until about the early 1950s when the process of westernisation brought this ancient industry to an end. Sadly, the situation was reflected in all the Motu villages, including Hanuabada, Porebada and Manumanu and to my knowledge, no attempts have yet been made to implement any programs of cultural preservation in this field .That​’​s why I​’​ve stood up and have made the commitment to make ​a difference. I am Australian, of Motu descent,​ so I am personally driven to ensure the success of this endeavour. But I represent all people who value world heritage, and I will not sit by and watch this ancient heritage die without doing something about it.

To find out more, and to make your donation, please visit the special Indiegogo Campaign by clicking on this link: http://igg.me/at/motupottery/x/434542

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