The book is the first attempt by the division to encourage young women on the island to write the stories of life on Tongareva.
Community and Protocol Services Manager Materau Ford, told the invited guests and community that the book was a story told very simply by the elderly women of the island who have been weaving for a long time.
They talk about the value they believe the rito has for the people of Tongareva. Rito is the very young leaf of the coconut tree which when processed, becomes the base material for the weaving of some of Tongareva’s finest, hats, fans and gifts.
“Today, the weaving culture of the island’s women has helped their livelihoods and their homes, and this spreads to their work in the village, island and in support of national activities.”
Ford thanked the island government and Cook Islands National Council of Women president Vaine Wichman for their support in supporting the publication through to its launch.
Limited books were distributed to the women and their children who had been interviewed in the book as well as to the three women who collected the stories: Hanapo Marsters, Marian Taia and Arikisau Issaka. Those who helped in editing, translating and supplying photos also received special mention and were thanked for their efforts.