Armed with his father’s bushknife and with the finesse of an experienced climber, 6 year old Seko Naya ascends up the tree to get himself his favourite Lesi (Papaya) . I was so glad to see that my nephew preferred fruit over the regular “Kekes” (sweet fried donuts), noodles, chips or bread-butter-jam that most children nowadays want.
It also took me back to my own childhood when at an even younger age than Seko, I would daily scoot up one of the Lesi trees at our home in ‘Eua and have a satisfying snack!
When I returned to my country in 2014, I was shocked to see how this lovely fruit is now on one hand being sold in the main island for unbelievable rates; and is found rotting or picked by birds/bats. Lesi is one of the most healthy and easily available fruits in T0nga, and it’s sad to see how we are losing sight of it’s worth..
Mediums and material used:
Tapa: is made by beating the bark of the Tongan Mulberry tree for hours, until thin strips finally flatten and stretch out. These pieces are then joined together firmly to form a canvas like surface.
Tongo Ink: is made from the extracted fluid of Mangrove bark. This fluid is boiled at various temperatures to get a variety of hues.
Size of Painting : 26.8 inches (length) x 17 inches (breadth)
Price: On Request