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New Zealand funded ‘Tivaivai Taorei Revival Project’ proves successful

Tuesday 13 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, Local, National

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New Zealand funded ‘Tivaivai Taorei Revival Project’ proves successful
The “Tivaivai Taorei Revival Project” to teach women and girls the fading intricate artwork skills, has proven to be a success. 22121216

The New Zealand High Commission funded “Tivaivai Taorei Revival Project” to teach women and girls the fading intricate artwork skills, has proven to be a success.

Yesterday, the Cook Islands National Council of Women (CINCW) presented the progress of the patchwork quilting programme to NZ high commissioner Tui Dewes, displaying the completed vibrant tivaivai taorei from the islands of Mauke and Atiu.

Raised on the island of Mauke, the National Council of Women coordinator Taputu Mariri would watch her grandmother sew tivaivai taorei. She was saddened to see tivaivai taorei becoming a dying art.

Encouraged by the enthusiasm of local women, in December 2021 the teaching and designing of the tivaivai taorei project was signed.

Due to Covid-19 and border closures, the quilting project to the Pa Enua was delayed. In February this year, CINCW managed to reach three islands – Mauke, Atiu and Mangaia – to teach the women the artwork.

The women on Mangaia are yet to complete their tivaivai taorei since they have been busy preparing for their island’s own tivaivai exhibition.

Rarotonga has completed a third of their quilt with the rest expected to be done this week.

Mariri said the women have been advised that next year in celebration of the arrival of 200 years of Christianity to Rarotonga, there will be a tivaivai exhibition in partnership with Tauranga Vananga.

Women and girls with disability also participated in the project, the youngest being 16.

High commissioner Dewes said she is “very conscious” of how important the tivaivai taorei artform is, having had conversations about the importance of reviving this artwork.

She is pleased and proud to have partnered with the Cook Islands National Council of Women.

CINCW presented Dewes with the tivaivai taorei from the island of Mauke and a pare rito. Dewes was “incredibly humbled” to receive the gifts.