Island visitors show off their cultural talents

Thursday July 28, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Va’a Va’a, left, with Tekuhei Kaiha (centre) and his father Petero Kaiha working on the Tiki, a cultural representation of the Gods of the Marquesan people. 16072623 Va’a Va’a, left, with Tekuhei Kaiha (centre) and his father Petero Kaiha working on the Tiki, a cultural representation of the Gods of the Marquesan people. 16072623

A GROUP of 30 people from the Marquesas Islands is visiting Rarotonga for two weeks.

 

The group consists of people with different talents and includes traditional carvers, tattooists, dancers and weavers.

Group spokesperson Tekuhei Kaiha said it was the second time a group from the Marquesas Islands had made visits to other islands in the South Pacific.

“A group similar to this one went to Easter Island about two years ago. This year we decided to come over to the Cook Islands and the beautiful island of Rarotonga,” said Kaiha.

“We all have different trades and traditional talents, and it’s nice with be in a country where people share similar lives to us in a Polynesian culture.

Kaiha said members of the public were welcome to check out their collection of Marquesas Islands artefacts which are on display at the Atiu Hostel opposite the National Auditorium.

“We have wooden artefacts carved by our traditional carvers and of course nice bracelets, ear rings and beautiful necklaces for the women and girls.

“We decided to bring in our traditional artefacts for comparison to the Cook Islands culture and interestingly, we see much similarity to that of our culture,” he said.

At present two men are carving a huge log shaping it in to a giant statue. Kaiha explains what the work was all about:

“You may have noticed our wood carvers are working on a statue-like carving similar to the Cook Island’s Tangaroa.

“What they are working on is called the Tiki which is a representation of the gods of the Marquesan people. 

“Every island or new country that we go to, we always carve a Tiki which we offer to the people who hosted us as a sign of our appreciation.”

“This tour is also meant as an eye-opener for the students who are part of the group. It’s a way of helping to develop their minds and to widen their thinking, especially when they go back home.”

Kaiha said he would like to extend his appreciation on behalf of the Marquesan people for for the warm welcome they had received on their visit to Rarotonga.

“A big maruru and thank you to the people of Rarotonga for their kind support and hospitality. We actually didn’t feel like strangers when we first came in, the way the people on Rarotonga made us feel at home,” he said.         

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