8 Sep 2014

Courses make a big difference for Tongan craftspeople

5:23 pm on 8 September 2014

Handicraft makers in Tonga say a number of training courses are increasing their sales and improving the quality of their art.

The pilot training programme provided by the Tonga Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism Support Programme, funded by the New Zealand aid programme, is in it's second year.

The courses teach handicraft skills as well as marketing and tourism awareness.

Tangiloto Po'oi, who has been selling hand-painted tapa cloth since 1980, says the programme has helped improve her sales, and showed her how to present her art in a more professional way.

Veuveuso Vaea began selling his hand-painted tapa after attending a number of the courses, and is able to support his family through the craft.

"This my first time to work the handicraft when the workshop finished. They teach me everything. They developed my knowledge about the work with the tapa and selling the tapa. It's very helpful for my knowledge, and helpful for my family. It's good money to support my family."

A handicraft artist in Tonga, Veuveuso Vaea.