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STRIVING TO PRESERVE KIKORI CULTURE THROUGH TAILORING

Having set up a private tailoring business, Lauba Sauka is now working towards empowering more young women and preserving traditional designs of remote Kikori in the Gulf Province.

“It is my dream to help others, and there are many things women and youths can do to improve their lives in communities they live in,” said Lauba.

The 39-year-old mother of six established her business as a platform to encourage women to embrace creativity and utilise life skills to improve their lives after attending a textiles and design workshop last year.

The training included basic screen-printing, fabric collaboration, garment construction, financial literacy and marketing.

It was facilitated by PNG Fashion and Design Week and supported through the PNG-Australia Partnership.

Under the label M8 Tailoring, Lauba works with her sister and 20-year-old daughter to sew garments and transfer unique, traditional Kikori designs onto fabric.

“Kikori designs are not commonly used on fabric,” said Lauba.

“But through teamwork and creativity we can tell our story to the rest of the country.”

Lauba is one of over 300 designers trained by visual artist Anna Amos as part of PNG Fashion and Design Week.

Anna highlights it is encouraging to see women step out of their comfort zones to tap into opportunities that can translate into business opportunities.

“This platform is an avenue for women and the youth to express themselves, participate in decision making and find motivation from each other,” Anna said.

“I’m delighted that by transferring skills and knowledge, women like Lauba and other young people can put their learning to good use and realise their true potential in life.”

Apart from sewing and designing, Lauba is planning to diversify by venturing into vegetable growing and sharing other simple life skills with women in the village.

Despite living along Kikori River, where access to markets and transportation is a challenge, Lauba is helping to provide women and young people with new opportunities, which has the potential to transform their lives and of those around them.

October 29, 2020