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The battle of the drums

Wednesday 29 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


The battle of the drums
Akirata Short played the pa’u in Te ‘Emo’anga Tangi Kaara competition last year. Photo: Cook Islands News/21032004

The battle of the drums Te ‘Emo’anga Tangi Kaara (drumming competition) for juniors, is geared up to hit the big stage inside the National Auditorium tomorrow night.

Students from the Rarotonga Primary Schools of Apii Takitumu, Apii Te Uki Ou, Apii Avarua School, Apii Nikao and Apii Arorangi have prepared to display their creativity, techniques and skills of playing the traditional instruments and drums of the Cook Islands.

The teams of drummers will be judged on Tuʻanga Rutu Aru Peʻe (Beats to the Chant) and Tuʻanga Rutu ʻAtu (Creative Beats).

Tauranga Vananga (Ministry of Culture Development) have provided the chant and the beats to each of the schools to learn for the Tuʻanga Rutu Aru Peʻe category.

In the Tuʻanga Rutu ʻAtu, each school has been given the opportunity  to create their own beats including contemporary ones as part of their drumming repertoire.

Synchronizing is vital in drumming – the drums need to be beaten at the same time with the same rhythm, and timing is also important for rhythm, said the Director of Tauranga Vananga, Ngatuaine Maui.

Creativity and the inclusion of objects such as bamboo, shells or jandals can add a unique sound to the drums, Maui added.

There is a maximum number of 10 drummers per team, teams are permitted have less than 10 drummers but would require more than six to hit a complete set of drums.

“Over the past five years we have seen an increase in the number of female drummers participating in the Tangi Kaara which has been encouraging, we hope to see more this year,” Maui said.

The judging panel on the night are: Makea Pauka, Uirangi Bishop, Piritau Nga, Phillip Strickland and Pastor Ngarima George. 

Last year, Apii Avarua won the Junior Tangi Kaara competition which was held outdoors under the National Auditorium Dome.

The Tangi Kaara will start at 6.30pm sharp, food stalls will be available and tickets are only $5 per adult and $2 per child.