The newly invested Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki leads at her investiture ceremony in Aitu yesterday. SUPPLIED/21071644.
Hundreds gathered on the island of Atiu on Friday, to witness the akamarokura'anga (investiture) of 25-year-old Tupuna Moeroa Ngamaru as Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki, in the second ceremony for the same title. By Melina Etches.
The newly-invested Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki said she was
excited and relieved to see the island come together for her investiture
She was appreciative of all the support, preparations,
ata manga (food gifts) and hard work from the people of Atiu.
The Ngamaru Ariki investiture was marred with
controversy after a family member held a separate ceremony to claim the title.
Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki said she paid a visit to her
uncle – her father’s brother Ngamaru Tereaa Ariki (Papa Katu Tereaa Okirua) –
who was invested with the same title last month, on a personal level.
“I went to visit him on Thursday as he is my uncle,
and it went well,” she told Cook Islands News.
Ngati Apai – Komono o Apai Mataiapo William Framhein said
during the procession outside Te Arii O Te Rangi, a small group of protestors
led by Patoro Tutu Ina, Ngamaru Tereaa Ariki, Elena Tavioni and others had
stood on the road.
But he said despite the objectors, the proceedings
continued according to plan.
The police were at hand to ensure there were no
physical interactions, Framhein added.
The day’s event started in the morning at Te Arii O Te
Rangi, then to a church service where Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki was anointed by the president
of the Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) Tuaine Ngametua.
Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki with two of her Ui Mataiapo on Te Au Tapu marae in Atiu. SUPPLIED. 21071642.
At the Te Au Tapu marae at Te Arii O Te Rangi for the
investiture, the pa’u (drum) was pounded by Paavo Mustonen, the pu (conch
shell) was blown by Carl Glassie and the karakia (traditional chant) was
performed by Casper Mateariki.
Five umu’s had been fired up on Thursday night to cook
the astonishing amount of food that was received for the feast – 200 pigs, 400
cartons of chicken leg quarters, 100 cartons of whole chicken, and over 200
sacks of Atiu taro, and many hands were involved in grating about 1500 coconuts.
Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki will receive Rongomatane Ariki Elect Nicholas Nicholls at Te Au Tapu marae for his investiture on Monday August 19.