Fijian mats: embodying and mediating female qualities

Jara Hulkenberg, Akanisi Tarabe, Jacqueline Ryle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses the contemporary significance and sociocultural meanings of Fijian mats. Based on research in different areas of Fiji over two decades and a University of the South Pacific workshop on weaving in 2016, the article argues that mats express relational pathways between kin groups and mediate between the material and the spiritual. It also argues that, embodying ‘female qualities’ associated with women, such as providing nurture and protection in all aspects of life and death, mats are material expressions of Fijian society and the structuring principles it is founded on and sustained by.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Material Culture
Early online date6 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2021


  • Embodiment
  • Fijian mats
  • Fijian society
  • Kinship
  • Materialization


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