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Inventory of performing arts traditions of Pukapuka/Nassau

Wednesday 1 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands

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Inventory of performing arts  traditions of Pukapuka/Nassau
Koree (Kolee) Tinga and composer (Pouser) Rikini from Pukapuka will create an inventory of their islands performing arts traditions. Photo: Melina Etches/22052503

Documenting and recording an inventory of peu karioi (performing arts) in the Cook Islands, to pass on the knowledge and social practices of peu karioi from generation to generation, is imperative for preservation and for future access and awareness.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) - Peu kite karape papa akamou korero o te Ipukarea researchers, Koree (Kolee) Tinga, Composer (Pouser) Rikini, and Tarawiri Ruarau from Pukapuka/Nassau attended a workshop earlier this month on inventory skills to document the peu karioi traditions on their islands, which was facilitated by Tauranga Vananga (Ministry of Culture).

Born in 1979 and raised on Pukapuka, Tinga said many of their elderly “aronga mana” (traditional leaders) have passed on, and others are now overseas.

The taunga/aronga mana on the island - are the people of knowledge, and “akatere” (lead) the island in the rules and customs, and its community listens and follows their leadership, Tinga said.

“Our island is different in this way, and the good thing is that in this way we all work together, we all help each other together… and our customs have been in place since a long time ago.”

The customs and “tuanga taporoporo” (conservation) practices are planned and set for the year, and the harvests are shared for everyone, which is nothing new, he explained.

 “Na te aronga mana matou e akatere ana… tera oki te ngai tuke, me akaue mai te aronga mana ko ta matou iarai ka rave, no te mea e ture rae ta te aronga mana ka akataka no te enua, me tuku mai tera au ture ka aru oki te community.

“Me akakite mei ratou e ka raui i te motu, ka raui i te motu…

“Mei te tuatau taito mai rai teia au akaueanga, ko tera te ngai meitaki ia matou, no te mea, ti raro ake rae matou i te akatereanga a te aronga mana.

“No te akanooanga i te akateretere anga i Pukapuka, meitaki te akateretere a te Pukapuka,” Tinga said. .

Rikini was born in 1986 and raised on Pukapuka, in 2003 he moved to Rarotonga for work, and a few years later he and his wife moved to Mangaia for ten years, in 2019 they moved to Penrhyn, returning to his home island in 2021.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on other outer islands, and I’ve compared the differences of our customs, Pukapuka has a genuine sense of working together and helping each other in the community, he said.

 “Te tai ngai tuke ko te meitaki ia matou i reira, kua taokotai oki matou i reira i roto i te au akauenga, me akatupu mei te au akauenga ti reira te katoatoa e tauturu… tera te vaerua ia matou i te angaanga kapitianga,” Rikini said.

Tauranga Vananga have received significant funding from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to enable the project - to gather and record peu karioi across the country.