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Hand-made tivaivai to go on show in Perth

Wednesday September 12, 2018 Written by Published in Culture
Mama Tara Thompson with her daughter, Ina Bishop. 18091123 Mama Tara Thompson with her daughter, Ina Bishop. 18091123

Ina Bishop will take her tivaivai to display and sell at the Te Maeva Nui Cook Islands Cultural Festival in Perth on October 20 this year.


The festival will be the 10th of its kind in Western Australia.

Bishop attributes her tivaivai-making skills to lessons learned at Araura College on Aitutaki. “But really the skill of making these is in our genes,” she says. 

She makes her tivaivai in the traditional style, adapted from the European quilting blankets brought over with early settlers.

“But we make them better, and our flowers are bigger,” says Ina. “I can just look at a plant and freehand draw it, cut it and then sew it.”

 She makes bedspreads, cushions and tablecloths.

Ina was born in Mangaia and raised in Rarotonga. She moved to New Zealand in the 1970s and came back 20 years later to raise her sons. “I’m now a grand-mama myself.”

Meanwhile Bishop’s mother, Tara Thompson has stopped off in Rarotonga to catch up with family, on her way to her sister Eliezera Tini’s 90th birthday on Mangaia. She plans to stay there for five months. “I come back every year.”

Ina passes on her skills to locals and tourists at the Punanga Nui market some mornings. “It’s very relaxing and therapeutic.”

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