Monday, August 22
I love the Pukapukan dance ream. They’re innovative and cheeky and they really enjoy what they’re doing. It’s a pleasure to watch them.
Pukapuka’s the most isolated of the northern Cook Islands. It’s actually closer to Samoa than it is to Rarotonga, a fact that was apparent after cyclone Percy trashed the atolls in 2005 when aid from Apia reached Pukapuka before aid from Rarotonga. It’s difficult to get there. Cargo boats and Air Rarotonga flights are irregular and expensive. If the government didn’t pay for Te Maeva Nui travel it’s very unlikely that northern group islanders would be able to come and that would be a loss for everyone.
The population is round about 500, though as with other outer islands it is decreasing as people, particularly youngsters and young families, head for a better life overseas.
For an insight into life on Pukapuka read an account by Paul Lynch on the Kia Orana website ,a story that was first published by Cook Islands News.
Back to Te Maeva Nui, where the dancers from Pukapuka are always crowd favourites. This video shows excerpts from the kapa rima (action song) section. It was awarded a B grade.