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‘The struggle is real’: Mitiaro prepares for Te Maeva Nui

Wednesday 27 July 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National


‘The struggle is real’: Mitiaro prepares for Te Maeva Nui
Mitiaro Te Maeva Nui dancers and drummers with tutor Tuakana Makara rehearse at the Mitiaro hostel.

For most teams participating in Te Maeva Nui cultural festival, “the struggle is real” to acquire enough dancers to perform in next week’s event, says the leader of Mitiaro’s cultural group, Matavaine (Tuvaine) Numanga.

Most of the dancers who represented Mitiaro in the 2021 event have moved to New Zealand for work, Numanga said.

Dance practices for the group started in late June, she said, adding the team selected the simpler items to participate in such as the Kapa Rima, Ute and the Imene Tuki “to make it easier for us”.

“We are trying our best and doing our best for culture. I’m used to it having been part of this for so many years,” Numanga said.

“Our culture is something I’m very proud of, it showcases our identity and it teaches our young ones the benefits of holding on to our culture.”

With the help of the dancers and the Mitiaro committee of: vice chairman Leannna Pareanga, vice secretary Vaerangi Tou and Numanga, who is also the treasurer, the group is ready and proud to be part of the festival.

“To the people of Mitiaro in the community it would be nice to have your support for our little island and our dancers. We are representing our island, so pop in anytime to our hostel to help out,” Numanga said.

Te Maeva Nui festival officially starts this Friday with the float parade at 1pm at the Taua Terevete Park (Constitution Park). The international night will be held on Saturday.

The cultural performances will be held from Wednesday to Friday next week.

Mitiaro will showcase their Kapa Rima item on Wednesday, August 3, at the National Auditorium followed by the Imene Tuki on Thursday and on Friday, the team will finish off their performances in the evening with the Ute.