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CINAT tour of Hawaii a major success

Monday September 18, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Members of the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT) team that toured Hawaii last month. 17091531 Members of the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT) team that toured Hawaii last month. 17091531

The Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT) team which toured Hawaii promoted the nation and its culture to over 100,000 people during their six-week stay in Laie.

 

The group, who performed at the Polynesian Cultural Centre from July 17 to August 24, showcased Cook Islands culture to over 3000 paid visitors who attended their shows   each day.

Seventy per cent of the visitors were from the West Coast area of the US.

According to information provided by the centre, 90 per cent of them had never previously heard of the Cook Islands.

The group, made up of drummers, dancers and weavers, was led by Danny Mataroa.

The tour aimed to promote the cultural heritage of the Cook Islands and expand economic opportunities by promoting the development of local industries and business involved in export or trade and tourism.

In his report, team manager Piltz Napa said one of the success stories of the Hawaii promotion would have to be TAV’s Clothing.

He said owner Erena Tavioni Pittman flew to Hawaii to present a fashion show, which was very well received.

Napa said the shows scheduled for the group at shopping malls and Waikiki Beach centres throughout their stay were “fantastic”.

Group members took part in activities including weaving rito products. The demonstrations included participation by visitors who made free “tapeka aroa” or friendship bracelets.

“Interaction with visitors was necessary (for them) to have a full understanding of the demonstration,” Napa said.

Medicine-making was also demonstrated by the group members, who showed how noni and other plants are used in curing various ailments.

“Tuki tuki teni teni”, a fun activity involving children and participants to introduce Cook Islands dancing and chanting was also displayed as well as the drumming demonstration, to teach drumming and playing the symphony of drums.”

The group also spoke on the migration story and set up information booth to promote tourism and give out trade information.

Napa said a new work study programme was also established for the Cook Islands with the Hukilau Scholarship.

“It is a three way partnership of the student, government and the PCC/BYU,” he said.

“The programme will entail a four year study of a Bachelor’s degree and two associate degrees (one major, two minors). They must return home to serve four years then they will have no bond or debt to pay.”

The CINAT group also took part in television shows as well as a number of roadshows.

“The Polynesian Cultural Centre was opened to the public on October 12, 1963. Throughout the years it has become the number one paid attraction in Hawaii with under a million visitors a year,” Napa said.

“It is a non-profit organisation that subsidises the university – BYU Hawaii, the LDS Church School.”