Minister of Culture George Angene, Secretary of Culture Anthony Turua and Secretary of the Ministry of Education Danielle Cochrane who is also the Cook Islands UNESCO Commissioner, Culture staff and participants at the opening of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) workshop. PHOTO: MELINA ETCHES/22020803
Cook Islands ‘peu karioi’ (performing arts) traditions, expressions, craftsmanship and practices will soon be collected and documented.
For the first time,
the Ministry of Cultural Development has received significant funding from
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to
make the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) - ‘Peu kite karape papa akamou
korero o te Ipukarea’ project possible - to gather and record peu karioi across
Rarotonga and the Pa Enua attended the first ICH training workshop on Monday at
the National Auditorium.
will deliver the inventory collection of Maori cultural traditional knowledge
around the Peu Tupuna from artists, choreographers, producers, performers,
community leaders, costume designers and so forth.
Urirau noted the importance of passing on the knowledge and information of peu
karioi, it’s traditions and expressions, cultural heritage, social practices,
knowledge and traditional craftsmanship from generation to generation.
“We need to
understand how important it is to safeguard, protect or preserve our peu karioi
for future access and awareness, and we are to promote the benefit of the
project and legacies for the community…” Urirau said.
The Secretary of Culture Anthony Turua announced that the project had taken almost 18 months to prepare, and last year the funding was successful which enabled participants from the Pa Enua to be included in the training.
“It is timely that
this project aligns with our new National Sustainable Development (NSDA 2021 –
2121) Goal 13 – Cultural Heritage, History, Identity and Language,” said Turua.
Turua also noted the UNESCO ICH trainer Sipiriano Nemani from Fiji who assisted the Culture staff with training via a virtual platform, said, “without this training staff would not have been able to conduct the training for the participants.”
In a zoom session
from Fiji, Nemani said the project is a big responsibility, “… on the islands, culture
and traditions are challenged on a daily basis.”
The Cook Islands
is only the second nation in the Pacific to have successfully secured funding
from the UNESCO ICH Assistance Grant, said Nemani, “this is something to
celebrate because it is a difficult ad cumbersome task preparing documents.”
Turua said, when
this project is completed, the Ministry will shift to other cultural strands
like language, tivaevae, traditional medicine, arts and craft, carving,
traditional agriculture and fishing, traditional sports and more.