Saturday, 18 February 2012


The beach near our home bears the marks of recent floods, with bigger than usual piles of broken branches and rubbish washed ashore.  Amongst the mess, I have been finding yet more shards of earthenware pottery - water-worn shapes that range in color from rusty red to soot black, remnants of vessels made from a course clay that appears to have sea sand mixed into it.

Hundreds of shards like this have been appearing at Wailoaloa Beach along the edge of Nadi Bay for several years now - leaving me intrigued as to where they are from and what the story behind them is! 

They do not have any obvious markings - though a few have imprints of cording or leaves, in keeping with construction methods used by Fiji's traditional potters.  I love feeling the thumb and finger prints of long-forgotten artisans who have inadvertently left their personal marks on their handiwork - as someone with a passion for pottery, I sense a kind of tactile connection here with kindred spirits - and wonder if I will ever know more about who they were and how they lived... 

Since the Nadi area does not boast any traditional pottery villages (though perhaps there were potters around here too, in the heyday of this local craft?) some are suggesting that the shards found along Nadi Bay are imports from the Sigatoka river valley, carted into our area in truckloads of white beach sand brought in from the Sigatoka Sand Dunes during the 1990s, to beautify the hotels built on the reclaimed mangrove swamps of Denarau Island...  If anyone can shed some light on this little local mystery, please let me know!
"Kuro Ni Viti" from Nakabuta Pottery Village near Sigatoka.  These earthenware cooking pots are made
by a modern day Fijian potter using traditional forming and firing methods.

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