Workshop helps locals craft cultural items

Janet Lee showing off her first weaved mat after she took part in a product development workshop in Northern recently. – Picture supplied

LOCAL artisans in Alola and Abuari villages in Northern have boosted their business prospects by improving their ability to craft cultural items through a product development workshop.
According to a statement from the Australian High Commission, 30 people from the area received training at the week-long workshop at the Alola trade centre.
Participants who completed the workshop were confident about creating authentic, high-quality Northern products, including cane baskets, bilums and pandanus mats – to sell to tourists once trekking resumed in the Kokoda Track.
Janet Lee, from the Abuari village in Northern, was among those who shared skills and exchanged knowledge on a range of local handicraft.
“Through this training, I made my first mat,” she said.
“I learnt how to make various patterns in a mat and I am excited to be making more mats to sell to trekkers and tourists.”
The local artisans craft would be displayed at trade centres adjoining the three community museums on the Kokoda Track, constructed with support from the National Museum and Art Gallery and the Australian government.
Product development workshops were part of the Alola trade centre programme supported by the Kokoda initiative – a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia that empowers local people through community-driven development. This workshop includes financial literacy training to strengthen small businesses.

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