The sculpture of the Loyalty Islands has its roots far back in sacred objects such as roof ridge spires, traditional doorframes, and chieftains’ posts. Today, many artists express their art creatively. They open their workshop to visitors, exhibit their products at festivals and markets on the islands, or export to the galleries of Noumea. Others have revived the ancient art of the construction of traditional canoes.
Braiding and basketry are practised daily, for domestic and artistic needs: mats, baskets, traps for fishing, hats, mobiles etc. Weaving competitions are organized during traditional festivals, and visitors can learn at their leisure. Young fashion designers reinterpret the traditional symbols of the mission dress and integrate natural materials into original creations presented at the islands' "Fashion Week".
In Ouvea, the company Iaai savonnerie des îles – ISI – manufactures solid soaps using an artisanal process using copra oil supplied by the local oil mill, produced by the island's 1,000 hectares of coconut groves. In Maré, the company Serei Nod Nengone produces an organic sandalwood essence thanks to a process, as innovative as it is top-secret, developed together with a perfumer from Grasse in France, that has seduced the biggest names in perfumery (Chanel, Guerlain and Dior) and also in cosmetics (Weleda) and that can be found locally under the Takone brand.
The Islands’ vanilla is a high-quality product, internationally recognized for its powerful fragrance. You can visit a plantation and learn about its cultivation or go to the Maison de la Vanille in Lifou to discover the complete production process and buy pods and derived products (sugar, powder, liqueurs, extract, jams etc.). Benefiting from a varied and endemic flora and the absence of pesticides, honey from the islands, has won awards at the Paris Agricultural Show several times, and is booming. The exceptional biodiversity of our islands is a very promising breeding ground for development around traditional pharmacopoeia, biomedicines, and natural cosmetics.
Producers and artisans