Passionate performances pay tribute to the arrival of Christianity

Saturday 24 April 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features, Weekend

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Passionate performances pay tribute to the arrival of Christianity
Tereora college cultural dancer Danniel Apii Jnr (right) during the schools drum dance. PC: MELINA ETCHES. 21042204

The Rarotonga Schools Culture Festival wrapped up on Wednesday night with raving performances from all teams.

The theme of the two-day dance celebrations reflected the arrival of Christianity to the Cook Islands 200 years ago, as set by Tauranga Vananga – the Ministry of Cultural Development, earlier this year.

Each school portrayed items pertaining to selected islands of their choice.

Apii Imanuela’s elegant presentation included our forefathers, our Ui Tupuna, who had wisdom to receive the gospel in their generation and all the generation leading up to today.

The song was composed by Kimberly Tangirere with the assistance of her dad, Alfred Tangirere; the choreography was done by Alana Short, Tevai Samuel and Hannah Tangirere.

Apii Te Uki Ou proudly portrayed the arrival of Christianity to the island of Atiu or Enuamanu – the Island Of Birds.

The school started with a mesmerising action song; a special chant from Atiu of Mama Uia, the prophetess who proclaimed that Christianity will be arriving on the island of Atiu; a colourful ‘ute, and finally the pulsating drum dance that represented the unique villages of Atiu.


Teremoana Macquarie from Nukutere College. PC ALANA MUSSELLE. 21042119

Apii Te Uki Ou expressed their gratitude to Ine Wichman- Sosene and her family, Tori Sosene, the beautiful action song written and composed by Lawrence Hosking and Katreena Smith, the people of Enuamanu for the honorable Pe’e and the talented Saireni Poila for the ‘ute’.

Apii Nikao portrayed the arrival of Christianity to the island of Akatokamanava/Mauke on July 23rd 1823, received by Tararo Ariki.

The first part introduced a chant of welcoming Christianity, accompanied by an action song, “E Rongo”, composed by Maara Scheel with the musical composition by Papa and Mama Orometua Joe Tinirau and Toka.


Imanuela Akatemia’s elegant performance. 21042315

The school is grateful to Akatokamanava for the sponsorship of the ei maire for their show and to all parents and families who took part.

The St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School chose to display the arrival of the Gospel on Araura/Aitutaki.

First on stage were the junior syndicate children from ECE (Early Childhood Education) to Grade 3 with chant and drum dance composed by Lucy Vano supported by the teachers, teacher aides and parents.


Young pupils from Apii Arorangi performing for their adoring audience. PC: ALANA MUSSELLE. 21042106

The action song composed by Mrs Lucy Vano and drum dance created by Makea Pauka, was performed by the senior syndicate children from grades 4, 5 and 6.

The schools look forward to the next annual culture schools festival next year.