Salusalu

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Country: Fiji
A garland from Lau specifically made for Graduation by a relative

Salusalu are garlands that are made and given by women to guests of honor at special events or persons who are undergoing important life cycle events such as a wedding or graduation ceremonies.  Salusalu are made by plaiting a variety of plant materials, such as hibiscus fibre and often the attachment of fresh flowers which give off a wonderful fragrance.

There are many different names and regional variations for salusalu. For example, Vanua Levu is known for the use of kuta (eleocharis dulcis) without the addition of flowers. To indicate someone is of chiefly rank, a strip of Fijian barkcloth (masi) will be attached at the back.

Salusalu  are made using a traditional vau, a local plant base to which flowers may be added. Currently, salusalu are made and distributed from the local flea market in Suva where mats, tapa and other requirements for traditional  ceremonies can be bought. People buy them ready made or may buy the base and add to the garland.

Changes in Fijian society, such as globalisation and urbanisation have influenced the visual qualities of the salusalu that are made today. For example, limited access to raw materials has resulted in the incorporation of imported textiles, rosettes that are dyed with food coloring are used instead of fresh flowers and sweets are attached to salusalu for children.

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