Manihiki Schools culture festival. ANNA RAURU/23072102
Tukao and Tauhunu schools in Manihiki gathered to celebrate culture, strength and unity with their first “amazing” culture festival held last week.
School principal Anna Rauru said the performing arts
festival was organised for both schools as part of their cultural activity week
for Term 2, which concluded on Friday.
The Thursday event was hosted by Ruamanu School in
Tauhunu and residents from both villages of Tukao and Tauhunu came together to
support the festival.
“We had such a big crowd, it was wonderful to see
everyone gather to witness the event and to see the happy spirit of the people
enjoying themselves,” said Rauru.
The programme started with the arrival of Tukao School
and a welcoming ceremony – a Aumohi (turou) by Oire Tukao acknowledging and
rejoicing the unity of the two villages in song and dance.
The theme for the festival was “Te au peu, himene,
hupa, Akatangi taitoa to tatou matakeinanga tei raveia ia ana pera katoa te
tumu tapura no teia mataiti - Te Au Manu o Toku Matakeinanga”.
Old action songs, drum dances and himene tuki that had
been recorded from the 1970s to 2003, were revived and performed.
The schools performed in four categories: himene tuki,
action song, ute and drum dance, led by the cultural leaders Reni Karaponga for
Tukao School and Anthony Kaina for Ruamanu School.
“Our tamariki from both schools were dressed with
beautiful costumes made from natural resources of Manihiki,” said Rauru.
“This festival is one of the best in which the
children have learned, revived and performed the old himene tuki, ute, action songs
and drum dance that Manihiki Henua has taken to Rarotonga for the Constitution celebrations
during those years.”
Rauru said the mayor of Manihiki, Ngamata Napara
couldn’t get over how excellent the children performed in their himene tuki, ute,
action song and drum dance.
“It was so good to hear all the old songs, dances and
drumming brought back to life by the children of both schools,” she said.
“Our cultural festival was a very proud moment for me,
seeing the great items performed by our children, and knowing all the hard work
that has been going on behind the scenes from our teachers, parents and the Tukao
and Tauhunu communities.”