Living culture at Te Maeva Nui

Monday August 04, 2014 Written by Published in Culture
Vaka Takitumu vainetini during their hearty ute. 14080423 Vaka Takitumu vainetini during their hearty ute. 14080423

Monday marked 49 years since the Cook Islands became self-governing, and 2015 is set to be a year-long celebration of what makes the Cook Islands so special – her people and culture.

This year’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations have been a low-key affair in anticipation of next year’s nationwide commemorations, but the eight teams that showcased their love of their village, island and nation are all winners in being part of the living Cook Islands culture.

  • See more images from Te Maeva Nui in the image gallery below

Friday night at the National Auditorium saw the final performances on stage by Te Maeva Nui teams, and it was another wonderful night of cultural pride.

By far the highlight of the night was the stunning drum dance by Oire Nikao. The bright yellow costumes worn by the women dancers illuminated the auditorium and, combined with the energetic and enthusiastic male dancers, made for an epic show to wrap up the week’s outstanding shows.

Arorangi youth again led the way in their team’s action song dance, with the theatrics of war coming to the fore.

Enua Aitutaki may have had the smallest action song team on stage during the week, but the performance of the dedicated few was breath-taking, proving you don’t need the largest team to make an impact on stage.

Vaka Takitumu singers certainly looked like they enjoyed their time on stage during the team’s ute show that had the mama singers in the team off their seats and singing with heart and soul.


  • Comment Link teariki Sunday, 24 August 2014 21:47 posted by teariki

    there isn't enough photos of Araura Enua

  • Comment Link Lisa Paringatai Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:52 posted by Lisa Paringatai

    Kia Orana

    My name is Lisa Paringatai, from Aotearoa - New Zealand, my waka is Te Arawa, one of the very Waka that landed on your beautiful shores many, many years ago.

    I also have connections to Mangaia and Rarotonga through my grandparents Ngaiti Ngatamariki & Teaaneiau Ngatamariki nee.Tiriaere.

    I am writing to you on behalf of my Kapa Haka group (Maori Culture Group), we are planning a trip to Rarotonga next year to trace the footsteps of our ancestors and visit your beautiful island again around the time of your Te Maevanui Celebration and would love to be apart of it.

    We would really love to be able to perform in the Constitution and would like to know how we could get a written invite to do so.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Kia Orana

    Lisa Paringatai

    Editor's note: Kia Orana Lisa, Try contacting the Cook Islands Ministry of Culture for information on this - they are the organisers of this event.

  • Comment Link Diane Waiste Monday, 11 August 2014 12:37 posted by Diane Waiste

    We attended the celebration 24 years ago and plan to come back for the 50th (it is our 50th Wedding anniversary). We come upon your celebration at that time and saw when the Queen came to visit and had food, music and dance. What day next year is that likely to occur? We cannot stay for the whole celebration but would like to see these kinds of events and was wondering if you could help us. We are also bringing friends with us.

    Thank you so much!

    Editor's note: Good plan! The exact dates for next year's Te Maeva Nui have not been finalised, but the celebration does occur around the same time each year. The length of the event can also vary from year to year, but with next year being a big milestone, it's likely to be made longer rather than shorter - which should make it easier to ensure your trip coincides with some of it.

  • Comment Link Linda Youngman Wednesday, 06 August 2014 09:58 posted by Linda Youngman

    Stunning pictures. Congratulations to the photographer.

    Editor's note: Thanks Linda - our photojournalist Matariki Wilson went along to the shows to capture the action.

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