‘It felt like I’d woken from a deep sleep and was alive for the first time’
Awakening is a story of discovery and adventure.
It is as if she has woken from a deep sleep and is seeing the world for the very first time. This new perspective challenges her to ask questions of her own identity, and through it she learns the value of her natural surroundings portrayed by the Masi dresses as well as the importance of the Ocean and all that dwell in it as depicted by the ‘Tabua’ (Whales Tooth). And through these she discovers the huge responsibility that she now carries being a Bride to all these sacred elements.
The three dresses that feature throughout were crafted by talented local designer ‘Di Vuya Ratabua’ (see vendors list below) and were made from the bark of the Mulberry Tree (Broussonetia Papyrifera), which means that they are ‘Paper Dresses’ or ‘Masi’ as is more commonly known here in Fiji.
The process of stripping the bark off the Mulberry Tree to it’s finished product is both a lengthy and laborious task, but it is how the Pacific Islands once clothed themselves (though not as contemporary) before the introduction of Cotton.
Through the shoot we felt it important to shine a spotlight on two import factors, the first being the connection to Nature – through the use of custom made ‘Masi (Paper) Dresses’, intentionally using the Fijian Highlands (as opposed to the cliche beach environment synonymous with Fiji) as our shoot location, and second being the connection to the Ocean, through the Tabua / whales tooth.
The Tabua is the most prized possession that any Fijian family could have, it is a symbol of wealth, respect, honour and value, and is usually exchanged during ceremonies of great importance like weddings. Tabua’s in circulation today are those that have been passed down through the generations.
Also featured on Junebug Weddings
Location: Highlands Fiji
Stylist: Gitte Laulau Kama – Kama Catch Me
Model: Harieta Tudreu
Photography: Kama Catch Me
Dresses: Tabuadrau Designs – x3 custom made dresses
Cake: Taste Fiji – Naked Meringue Cake
HMUA: Ash Phaneuf – Hair N Make Up Perfectionist Fiji
Flowers: Grace Creations