Tavarua Kava Ghosts
This work and the series is a narrative and expression of my personal interactions with the incredible people of the South Pacific and the frustration of the effects of climate change, mainland pollution and the devastating and negative effects on the pristine ecosystems effecting the Pacific Islanders. No place to run, no place to go, very little if any outside help to protect their way of life, their culture and their literal daily fight for survival by the modernization and massive industrialization of countries thousands of miles away. "TAVARUA KAVA GHOSTS" is “memories of the feelings” represented in vibrant color and intuitive brush strokes and is part of the “TAVARUA KAVA SERIES.” In Fiji and in other island cultures in the South Pacific, a Kava ceremony is a centuries old ritual carried out in just about every village you might have the opportunity to be invited to visit and participate in. It is used for celebration and prayer. In this series it is for prayers of protection. I was fortunate several times to present to Chief Druku Of Tavarua island a Kava offering. The kava ceremony focuses around the communal Kava tanoa (bowl). Guests sit in a circle around the bowl which is placed in front of Chief Druku. I was invited to do so because of my love of the people and my understanding of there plight in fighting rising sea levels and pollution from countries thousands of miles away. It is an honor and had a profound impact on my life and thinking. The ceremony commences with the actual production of the kava. The plant is pounded and the pulp placed into a cloth sack and mixed with water. The end result is a brownish colored liquid – the Kava gold. It is then strained and ready for drinking. Your host will offer kava as high tide (full cup) or low tide (half cup). When presented with the kava, clap once and yell ‘Bula!’ (Fijian for hello). Drink the kava in one gulp if possible, clap three more times and end with the word Maca – pronounced ‘Ma-tha’.Finally, once you have finished your kava, you will feel a delightful sense of serenity and calm, with a slight numbness around your mouth, lips and tongue. A kava ceremony is always fun and full of laughter and smiles. Is is a true indicator of Fijian culture. This is why Fijians often serve kava to settle an argument or to make peace between villagers.