Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
The art of lalaga (weaving) is a cultural practise which is now taking a fresh twist in a card game created by creative Torisse Laulu.
A Samoan cultural practice is now being implemented in a new card game. Lalaga (weave/weaving) is the after product masterminded by creative Torisse Laulu.
The term lalaga derives from the practice of weaving together lau fala (strands) to create ie toga and fala’s (fine mats/regular mats). Laulu was fascinated by the concept of weaving and spun it in a metaphorical sense to enforce the importance of communicating in communities.
“Lalaga is like apart from the card game, you know it’s weaving. But to me I thought it represents weaving spaces between people, bridging the disconnection and then connecting people from all walks of life” Laulu said.
“So there’s five levels to the card game, each level represents a different level of depth of conversation. So like level 1 is surfacey, and then level 2 it gets deeper and then so on and so on. So obviously I am trying to encourage people to go deeper into the card game”.
Bridging disconnections is something she has always been passionate about, and was a catalyst in helping her develop the Lalaga card game.
“ The first reason was accessibility. Because I, along with my friend, used to run these talanoa sessions for women and men, it was really great. And alot of people really loved it and they said that they just wanted more of those sessions”
“I thought about how we could make this more accessible and the card game was definitely a way we could make that accessible to everyone”
Creating communication and talanoa is a difficult task to complete in pacific communities especially when it is frowned upon to be open on issues faced.
However Laulu believes that before it should be fixed at a community and society level, the answer lies within families in where it should begin.
“Disconnection creates so many issues, and if we can find a solution to figure that out, and connect our community more especially with our family, like before trying to connect with society I think so many issues can be solved”
“When I played the game with my parents, it was cool because I got to learn things that I never had the opportunity to talk about before. That was like the coolest things for me, working on this product”.
For now Laulu hopes to grow the game’s popularity in New Zealand with hopes of it making its way to the islands to further broaden her mission of helping pacific communities.
DESIGNER: Lauren Wepa
HEALTH & SAFETY: Atelaite Mapa
BRANDING/BUSINESS CONSULTANT: Gabby Manu