Seventh Day Adventist Church minister Tenoa Puna has been brought over as part of this year’s group, to help bring spiritual guidance to those taking part in this year’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations.
Puna said that the group had a worship session every morning to start their day.
“Although I am a minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, those who are here who are CICC congregation members still part take in our service each morning. No matter what their denomination, they still have a real respect for me and my morning worships, which is great.
“Having a morning worship is something that has been a long-standing tradition for those who come here to represent Aitutaki, and it is important we continue that.”
After the first few nights of the celebratory performances, Puna said once again the Aitutaki drumming had received praise from a number of people from the outer islands.
“We don’t mean to brag, but it is well known that we as Aitutakians are the best drummers in the Cook Islands. Having that title, of course, comes with added pressure, but it just makes us work hard to come and show our skills to everyone.
“It is important for us to be humble of course, but we are proud of our history on the drums and are always pleased that people enjoy our island beats.
“We have even heard of people wanting to come and record our drumming so they can put it online to help others learn our distinctive rhythms.”
Puna said around 100 people made up the group which travelled from Aitutaki to Rarotonga to take part in this year’s celebrations and so far all of the team members had enjoyed their stay.