Cecelia Kimiora with the tivaevae displayed at the Mitiaro market hall. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU /20112307
The outer island travel experience is helping revive traditional art making in the Pa Enua.
Kimiora was brought up in an environment where the art of tivaevae is given
the mother of seven ensures her children keep the culture of tivaevae making
alive and close to their hearts.
Kimiora, as she is known on Mitiaro, was among the women who came together to
showcase their designer items to the local visitors who travelled to the island
from tivaevae, the visitors from Rarotonga, who were part of the Southern Tour
package being promoted by Cook Islands Tourism, also had a chance to witness
the art of mat and basket weaving, as well as sewing cushion covers and making
Mama Teei Aupuni weaving a basket. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 20112301
Kimiora says it takes her around two to three weeks to sew the tivaevae. But
the time depends on whether she hand sews or uses a sewing machine to stitch
from Mauke, Kimiora was raised by her grandmother who taught her the art of
started sewing tivaevae on my own at the age of 18 in Mauke, I kept learning.
And now I am married here in Mitiaro and here I am still learning from the
mamas, it is important to keep the tradition going,” Kimiora says.
At the market,
Kimiora is also learning the art of weaving mats and basket from her fellow
from helping revive these ancient skills, she says the weekly market has also
helped them earn some money.
this is good, we are only seven mamas and it has brought in a bit of income for
our family. We also get to show our talents, skills, traditions.
something for our Cook Islands people to come and see. Come to Mitiaro come and
see what we have for you.”
market was set up by Divine Retreats’ Cindyanna Abraham as a way to help boost
the tourism industry on the island as well as provide some income for the
now being managed by Ake Pouau.
Pouau, 77, says in the past they used to export maire ei overseas but that has
Mama Ake Pouau with the cushion covers. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 20112306
the outer island travel experience is allowing visitors to witness first-hand
what they make and how they make them.
we are now open to visitors, we the seven women try to do our duty and show
what we have made. It is the first time we have visitors; we support the
project and we want to show we are keeping the culture of making mats, rito
hats and basket alive.”
Kimiora hopes to pass the knowledge she is gaining from the fellow vendors to
her two daughters, who stay with her on the island.
spends some of her time teaching the school students of Mitiaro the art of
children especially my daughters I encourage them to learn all this while I am
still alive. I want to teach them so they know and continue on teaching