Enua Mitiaro were the first to take to the stage on Tuesday night for their action song in eye-popping costumes of natural fibre.
The aroma of the maire ei from Mauke filled the National Auditorium as the team sung their ute in full voice.
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Enua Mangaia’s blazing red drum dance lit up the stage and the pulsating drums had the crowds dancing in their seats.
The story of the creation of the coconut tree unfolded on stage as Enuamanu based their kapa rima (action song) on the legend of Ina and Tuna – the story of the maiden that was impregnated by an eel where, after the eel was coaxed out with the aroma of cooked food, its head was cut off and buried where the first coconut tree sprang to life.
In keeping with their theme of the tree of life, the team’s costume was made entirely of coconut tree fibres.
Puaikura youth led the village's ute, while the heart-thumping drums of Aitutaki for their drum dance ended the night's show.
Vaka Takitumu and Oire Nikao made their first appearance on the Te Maeva Nui stage last night.
Another great line-up of performances is on offer tonight at the Are Karioi Nui.
This year's competition is somewhat more low-key than previous years, with many of the island and oire teams preparing for bigger and brighter shows for next year's milestone 50th Constitution celebrations.