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Apii Nikao celebrates Cook Islands culture

Saturday 27 August 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Culture, Local, National

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Apii Nikao celebrates Cook Islands culture
Apii Nikao celebrated the end of their Cook Islands Maori Week with drum dance, traditional songs and decorated classrooms on Friday. Caleb Fotheringham/22082630

Apii Nikao celebrated the end of their Cook Islands Maori Week with drum dance, traditional songs and decorated classrooms on Friday.

Apii Nikao teacher Ma’ara Scheel said the school’s Maori Week kicked off with learning about local legends.

On Tuesday the focus shifted to weaving and plating followed by traditional games on Wednesday and on Thursday the children shared a traditional kaikai.

“I would like to ask our parents to please speak to our kids in our local language in Te Reo Maori so they will understand where they come from because Te Reo Maori in our Cook Islands culture is our identity,” Scheel said.

The school’s youngest class took out the best-decorated classroom with the theme of “past and present”.

The youngest Apii Nikao students during the drum dance. 22082624/Caleb Fotheringham

Speaking to Cook Islands News in Te Reo Maori, Scheel shared: “Kia Orana tatou katoatoa. Ko te epetoma teia o te peu Maori e ko te akakoroanga, koia oki kia akamaroiroi ia e kia akamatutu ia te reo e te peu maori ki ta tatou tamariki na roto i te apiianga i te au apinga raverave, te au akatutu, te aitamu na roto i te pe’e ta to tatou ui tupuna i apii mai kia tatou.”

“E i teia tuatau nei te apii nei tatou ki ta tatou tamariki no te mea te akaroa, te ngaro atu nei ta tatou peu.

“Kote akakoroanga tikai no teia epetoma o te Reo Moari ko te akaepaepaanga e te tatanu anga i ta tatou Reo Maori e te Peu Maori.

“No reira e te au metua, auraka e akavaavaa to tatou Reo Maori, apii ia, tuatua ia ki ta tatou au tamariki.”

“Apii Nikao started their Maori Week to celebrate the beautiful language and culture of Cook Islands Maori with a special assembly.

“Cultural performances of the pe’e and the ama were performed by the students. These activities are focused on enhancing the students’ knowledge of Maori traditions with confidence and pride.

“Parents should not be ashamed of Maori language and culture, they should encourage and help teach their children to learn it.”