Tuvaluan Ili Craft – Tuvalu Language Week Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu

Tālofa. Tuvalu Language Week Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu celebrates the culture and language of the more than 3,500 people of Tuvaluan heritage who live in New Zealand. Visit Tuvalu Language Week Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu to explore the Tuvalu language and resources in our collection.

Here is a Tuvalu Language Week Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu from Tiresa:


The art of Tuvalu has traditionally been expressed in the design of clothing and traditional handicrafts such as the decoration of mats and fans (ili). Tuvalu handicrafts such as the ili (fan) are known for being colourful and elaborately woven. Design and make your own Ili for someone you love, use your environment to inspire your designs.

Step 1

You will need:
scissors, pencil/pen, card, wool/ribbon, tape coloured pens/pencils, circle template

Step 2

Use circle template to mark out 2 circles on card.

Draw your patterns in the circles.

You can take inspiration from pictures of ili (fan) examples

Step 3

Colour your design

Cut out circles and make appropriate cuts/holes to weave into.

Step 4

Weave & have fun

Step 5

Add handle (between the two circles)

Optional – You can add other embellishments or decorate the handle

Step 6

Your ili is finished

Download this craft activity as a PDF [1.4MB PDF]