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Showing posts from December 22, 2013

A Happy Christmas Everyone and a Peaceful New Year

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Black Christ Mural
Naiserelagi, about 45 km east of Rakiraki, is the home of the church with a mural of the Black Christ by French artist Jean Charlot. This is an exquisite work, blending Fijian motifs with the teachings of Christ. Charlot painted the mural in 1962 at the invitation of Monsignor Franz Wasner, the then-caretaker of the mission. (Prior to coming to Fiji Monsignor Wasner was at one time the singing teacher of the Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame.) The mural was painstakingly completed by the dim lamplight of the church – apparently Charlot had a great deal of trouble applying the fresh mortar to the wall.

The central image of the mural is the figure of a black Christ on the cross, wearing masi (tapa) cloth around his waist. He is being paid homage to by a number of Fijian figures. In the immediate background are breadfruit leaves and fruit which express his close relationship with nature and, according to Charlot’s wife, are a vital symbol in the fre…