Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Rare Pacific Islander Captivates Its Neighborhood; New York Times, 2/1/17

Serena Solomon, New York Times; 

A Rare Pacific Islander Captivates Its Neighborhood

"According to Emori Tokalau, a governmental liaison to Taveuni’s clan leaders, only the flower’s custodian can tell the true legend. That is Ratu Viliame Mudu, the chief of Somosomo village on the island’s western side.

Mr. Tokalau described the custodianship “as a form of copyright,” giving the holder authority to grant permission for outsiders to visit the flower or use its likeness. He had to get the chief’s approval before using the tagimoucia on his office letterhead, he said.

To receive permission, one must arrive at the village with a sevusevu — a gift or offering — often the traditional root drink kava. A small ceremony is performed, with men in sarongs and women in long skirts gathered around."

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