Monday, June 30
Pearl Market Day is one of a number of initiatives that the Cook Islands Pearl Authority is undertaking to raise the profile of our black pearls. Others include a logo design competition and sponsorship of the national Cook Islands Black Pearls netball team. The aim is to build an international presence so that when people mention 'black pearls' it brings to mind the Cook Islands and not just Tahiti.
Market day included a cultural performance by a local primary school, stalls where lucky buyers could snap up a bargain from producers and jewellers and a fashion parade that showcased beautiful dresses from Tav and stunning pearl jewellery (I was quite taken with some dangly pearl earrings!).
Earlier in the week the weather had been dreadful - cold wet and windy - so bad that CIPA thought they might have to postpone the event, but fortunately Thursday was fine. That was good for locals and tourists who were able to check out a wide range of pearls, pearl shell carvings and jewellery and pick up some real bargains.
CIPA plan to make Pearl Market Day an annual event so watch out for it next year.