Bougainville art, handicraft on show at PTI NZ’s Auckland trade show

The pride of Bougainville’s arts and handicrafts will be showcased at Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand’s Path to the Pacific Trade Show at The Cloud in Auckland on April 6. Sharon Kentasi is the Director of Bougainville Pride Arts & Crafts Ltd.

The small business with a big heart aims at maintaining Bougainville’s rich cultural heritage of arts and handicrafts dating back thousands of years. Despite the impact of western influences changing cultures and traditional beliefs, Bougainville Pride Arts & Crafts says keeping alive their traditional practices “…helps keep our heritage alive,” by promoting and supplying traditionally handwoven baskets and artefacts from Bougainville and wider Papua New Guinea. Modern styles of design are influences adapting the art form and bringing it forward for wider contemporary market but without compromising its essence.

Ms Kentasi is coming to PTI NZ’s Path to Market programme in Auckland for the first time to test the market.  Showcasing baskets and artefacts from artists, makers and designers who work in collaboration with Ms Kentasi supplying specific markets and finding buyers.

The business started in 2016. It has exported to Australia and Canada, but until now has yet to test New Zealand’s appetite for Bougainville’s handicrafts. That is until now.

PTI NZ ran a Path to Market workshop in 2018 that has influenced Ms Kentari toward exploring exporting to New Zealand.

“With the information and data collected from the workshop in 2018, it has helped broaden my knowledge and understanding of what is required in each market spaces and what we can do to add value in the products we have from our weavers,” Ms Kentari says.

“We want to try the NZ market to see if we will be able to get prospective buyers and mainly get a taste of the environment, the people and to see if where our products can best fit in,” she added.

What can customers expect from Bougainville Pride Arts & Culture’s pieces? The company says it beautifully in a brochure on its Facebook page:

“Each creation has a story, a meaning and a purpose….Bougainville Pride is on a crusade to save its culture by giving our people the opportunity to sell their creations and earn money for a living as an incentive to keep these traditions going for future generations sot that our identity does not die with the tide of change.”

For more information email Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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