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Cook Islands unveils stunning uniforms for FestPAC

Friday 31 May 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features


Cook Islands unveils stunning uniforms for FestPAC
Members of the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT), including Zoe Hoff and Tiare Anguna, feel excited as they receive their official uniforms for the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) to be held in Hawaii from June 6-16. MELINA ETCHES/ 24053008

With just two more sleeps until their departure, the 160-strong Cook Islands delegation to Honolulu, Hawai’i for the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) is making final arrangements for the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders.

The delegation gathered at Te Are Karioi yesterday morning to receive the official uniforms.

Beautiful Polynesian patterns of traditional motifs and modern elements are featured on the official team uniforms tailored by Ellena Tavioni’s unique TAV Pacific. These uniforms will be well served as they are set to be showcased on the international stage in Hawai’i.

As members carefully selected their hats, the 150 stunning, limited-edition green and white pare rito (rito hats) shimmered on the tables, each one expertly woven by the women of Penrhyn/Tongareva.

Zoe Hoff, Te Mire Atu Senior Female Dance Champion and member of the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT) dance team, is “so excited and blessed” to be given the opportunity to represent the country for the first time at FestPAC. 

“Our CINAT team is so amazing and so supportive of one another and I am so grateful to be a part of this family. The journey we’ve all shared has been rewarding, and I can’t wait to showcase our culture to the world,” said Hoff.

As the departure date draws nearer, Tiare Anguna, a CINAT member, shared: “I’m feeling very excited to be showcasing our beautiful culture to the different islands at FestPAC as well as those watching from home.”

“It has been a dream of mine to represent the Cook Islands to the world, especially in our culture.

“I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity to dance along with the rest of our amazing dancers, to make our little nation proud.”

Emile Kairua, Secretary of Tauranga Vananga, welcomed the team to the uniform meeting followed by a brief update by the hard working logistics and team manager Sharna Matapuku, and a blessing of the uniforms by Bishop Tutai Pere.

Matapuku expressed her appreciation for the invaluable support of Te Rito O Taku Peu Tupuna, TAV, and the people of Penrhyn/Tongareva for the pare rito.

Tonight at 6.30pm, the FestPAC Banquet and CINAT cultural performance will kick off at Te Are Karioi. Tickets are $100 per person which includes a sumptuous meal.

FestPAC is held every four years in a different Pacific Island nation. Its goal is to preserve and revive the traditional arts and cultures of the Pacific.