Thursday, September 29

Avarua drum dance at Te Maeva Nui

I'm in Vietnam at the moment so I didn't cover this year's week of running but I've still got some footage from Te Maeva Nui including this video.
Avarua was one of the two Rarotonga teams that took part in the 2011 Te Maeva Nui cultural dance competition (the other was Puaikura with most of the teams being from the outer islands),
This exciting drum dance (ura pau) earned them a B grade.

Sunday, September 18

Mangaia action song at Te Maeva Nui

More video footage from this year's Te Maeva Nui on Rarotonga.
This kapa rima (action song) from the dancers on the outer island of Mangaia earned the team a B grade.

Saturday, September 10

Avarua school kids help clean up the world

Here on Rarotonga we’ve just held our ‘Clean up the World’ campaign – Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September. Most of the action took place on Friday fortunately. It’s been warm and dry here for several weeks but Saturday was cold, wet and miserable (cold by local standards where anything less than 22C has people reaching for warm jackets).
The environment service encouraged schools, businesses, community groups and others to get together in groups to clean up a number of public areas. 2011 is the Year of Wetlands so they particularly wanted people to look at places like streams, coastal areas and taro patches. This video is about children from two classes at Avarua primary school; Form 2 wearing red for the occasion and Form 1 in green.
The red team tackled the drainage ditch between Tupapa rugby field and some taro patches. With mud, bottles, cans and paper it was an unsightly mess but the kids did a good job. The rugby (union) season is drawing to a close but let’s hope spectators at this weekend’s game put their rubbish in bins and not in the ditch.
The green team’s area wasn’t so muddy – the stream beds they cleaned were dry but the kids still had plenty to do. Some house-holds burn rubbish there and passers-by toss all manner of things down on an ‘out of sight out of mind’ principle. Unfortunately when the rainy season comes and the streams are full, all the rubbish will be washed down to the harbours and sea shore – not good for our ‘clean, green’ image.
The environment service says that more than 30 teams turned out and a huge amount of rubbish was collected, so congratulations to everyone concerned.
In most other countries the clean-up weekend is 16-18 September so I guess you could say that the Cook Islands is leading the world on this!

Saturday, September 3

Puaikura drum dance at Rarotonga’s Te Maeva Nui

Vaka Puaikura, which includes the village of Arorangi, was one of two Rarotonga teams in this year's Te Maeva Nui dance competition.
The drum dance, ura pau, with its fast beat and emphasis on hip and leg movement, usually features boys to a greater extent than girls. The judges commented that this year many of the male dancers were quite young boys but they certainly make up in enthusiasm for what they lack in maturity. Of course, anyone who’s seen the junior and intermediate dancer of the year contestants knows what a huge amount of talent is available here.
This video shows excerpts from Puaikura’s ura pau – it was actually the final item of the Maeva Nui competition was an exciting finale. The team got a B grade for the performance.
The ministry of culture’s DVD of the entire Te Maeva Nui celebration should be out soon. It will include the full length performances for each night as well as the float parade and tangi kaara (drumming competition).