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Tereora, Titikaveka vie for Tangi Ka’ara title

Friday 21 June 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, Entertainment, Features, National

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Tereora, Titikaveka vie for Tangi Ka’ara title
Tereora College gears up for the Tangi Ka’ara competition tonight. From left: Ezekiel Tuatea Tatuava, George Temata Rauru, and culture teacher Benjamin Patia. MELINA ETCHES/ 24062015

A group of enthusiastic Api’i Tuarua secondary school students will perform in tonight’s highly anticipated CITC Pump the Beats Emo’anga Tangi Ka’ara Drumming Competition at the National Auditorium.

Students have spent weeks of dedicated practice and preparation honing their skills for the annual event presented by Tauranga Vananga Ministry of Cultural Development in partnership with CITC (Cook Islands Trading Corporation).

According to sponsors CITC, culture “is the heart” of the corporation. It has sponsored many cultural activities and events that emphasise preserving and celebrating culture.

Te Api’i Tuarua competition is for secondary college students in Rarotonga. The number of drummers per team is limited to a minimum of five and a maximum of 10.

Tereora College will have three teams in the event – Anau Te Kou led by Revan Tuaputa, Anau Ikurangi led by Mii Simona, and Anau Te Manga led by Robert Ioaba Jr.

Benjamin Patia, Tereora College culture teacher, says he is “happy and proud” of their drummers.

“Even though we had some teething problems getting our numbers, I thank our parents for their support in their kids learning more skills and continuing the art of drumming,” said Patia.

He acknowledged the work of Tauranga Vanaga and CITC’s George George who have assisted the school in providing master drummers to help the students.

“These master drummers have built relationships with our students and what they are doing is encouraging for our kids, especially our young ones. Also having students come here from primary schools already knowing the art of the tangi ka’ara is great,” said Patia.

George Temata Rauru drums the taki rua for Anau Ikurangi and has participated in the Tangi Ka’ara event for four years.

“Te tumu reka ana au i te rutu no te mea e na to tatou ui tupuna teia angaanga ka inangaro ia tatou kia tauta e kia tamou ia to tatou au peu,” said Rauru.

“Ki te au Tamariki…. tamou ia taau peu no te mea te vai nei te tuatau ka inangaro ia kia akaari mai tau peu ki te iti tangata.”

Ezekiel Tuatea Tatuava-Enjoy, Anau Te Manga’s lead pate drummer, said drumming used to be a part of culture that he didn’t know much about growing up.

“I joined Tereora College in 2021 – when I became inspired to learn more about our drums,” said Tatuava-Enjoy.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the other school and their creative beats and their talent.

“And I’d like to encourage those kids who are hesitant to learn drumming to come along, it really is a lot of fun.”

Titikaveka College will be the other school taking part in the Tangi Ka’ara Drumming Competition tonight.

Last night, the Api’i Tuata’i Primary Schools of Apii Takitumu, Apii Te Uki Ou, Apii Rutaki, Apii Arorangi, Apii Nikao, and Apii Avarua battled it out at Te Are Karioi.

Tonight, starting at 6.30pm at Te Are Karioi (National Auditorium), the Api’i Tuarua of Apii Titikaveka, Apii Tereora – Anau Te Kou, Apii Tereora – Anau Ikurangi and Apii Tereora – Anau Te Manga will showcase their skills.

Last year, Anau Maunga Roa from Tereora College took out the top prize in the secondary school competition, and Apii Avarua’s Matakura Drummers took home the first-place trophy in the primary school division.

Ticket sales for tonight’s event are available at the Te Are Karioi door. Admission prices are free for children 5 years old and younger, $2 for children between 6 and 12 years old (inclusive) and $10 for adults 13 years and older.